fat versus muscle – these are their main differences

Fat and muscle present in the human body are part of the different existing tissues. Now, do you know what the main differences are?

Based on this, it’s not that one is better than the other, because in the end both are necessary for a healthy body. Therefore, these tissues perform specific functions in the body, so the balance of the two is what really matters. Learn more about this topic below.

The importance of body weight

Scale for determining the weight of fat and muscle.
Specific gravity is one measure of being overweight, but body mass index is more accurate.

Body weight is made up of the sum of water, fat, muscle and to a lesser extent from bone, viscera and nervesIndeed, this is what determines the balance. However, this number does not help identify what each tissue corresponds to unless it is a scale such as used by nutrition professionalswhich specifies it in detail.

However, Based on this value, which is obtained after weighing, the body mass index can be calculated.. When it is equal to or greater than 25 kilograms per square metre, it indicates overweight, which is expressed with extensive scientific evidenceit is an indicator associated with the development of obesity and metabolic dysfunction.

It should be noted that it is the excess of adiposity that leads to health complicationsFor this reason, the mass index does not apply to overtrained people, such as bodybuilders, in which this indicator is usually more than 25 kilograms per square meter.

What is fat and what does it do?

However, this does not mean that body fat is harmful, as this is the body’s main energy store. This macronutrient, which It is composed of fatty acids and glycerol, providing 9 calories per gram. However, adipose tissue also performs structural and metabolic functions. Some of these are as follows:

  • It covers the organs of the body (visceral tissue).
  • Acts as a thermal insulator.
  • Lipids are precursors of steroid hormones, bile acids and vitamin D.
  • They carry fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K and carotenoids).
  • They provide essential fatty acids for the body.

types of fats

To be clear, there are several dietary sources of fat. Based on this, can be grouped into “bad” and “good” fats for health . The former are chemically saturated, generally of animal origin, and solid at room temperature. Examples of these are pork fat, lard, milk fat, meat fat, and chicken skin.

Healthy ones, on the other hand, are generally of vegetable origin, with the exception of sea fish fats and are usually liquid at room temperature.

This type of lipid it can help protect the body from coronary heart disease Because it lowers blood cholesterol levels. Among these we can mention chia seeds, flax seeds, soybeans, olives, their oils, mackerel, tuna, among others.

What is muscle and what function does it have?

The muscle It is a tissue made up of grouped muscle fibers. They have the ability to contract and relax. In the body there are 3 types:

  1. The cardiac, which is found exclusively in the heart.
  2. Smooth muscle, which lines the wall of the digestive system, bronchi, blood vessels, urinary bladder, and uterus.
  3. The striated or skeletal tissue is known as the “muscle itself”.

The latter performs several functions in the body:

  • allows movementbecause the fibrils that compose it contract and relax to obtain the displacement.
  • Generates mechanical energy from the use of stored glucose.
  • It produces stability in the joints.
  • It serves as protection.
  • It allows you to maintain your posture.
  • They provide heat, by the amount of water they have, by the friction they generate, and because they are constantly consuming energy.
  • Stimulate the action of lymphatic and blood vessels because muscle contraction helps it pump blood (known as venous return).

Main differences between fat and muscle

It is clear that they are different fabrics and that is why their functions are not similar. To this are added other differential aspects.


Fat tissue occupies more volume than muscle tissue. that’s why two people who are the same weight can look different. This explains that whoever has a greater amount of adipose tissue will occupy a greater surface area, while a person in whom muscles predominate will appear toned and leaner.

metabolic effect

The muscular system has the ability to consume energy, therefore, the more muscle mass you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate will be. This concept means that in a state of rest, i.e. when no movement is made, the minimum energy that cells use to function is greater.

Why is it necessary to have a balance between muscle and fat?

There are clear differences between muscle and fat, but both tissues are important.
The balance between the tissues is essential for an adequate state of health.
As mentioned, both tissues have important actions, therefore, there has to be a balance between the two. Being totally thin is not compatible with life; in fact, it can pose a serious health risk, however, having excess fat also carries significant risks.
As highlighted I study “Obesity as a risk factor, its determinants and treatment” The complications that can appear due to excess adipose tissue are as follows:
  • Hypertension.
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
  • Blood vessel dysfunction.
  • Atherogenic dyslipidemia (including high bad cholesterol, low good cholesterol, and excess triglycerides).
  • Risk of thrombosis.
Furthermore, even having minimal muscle mass is not optimal. In this sense, increasing the content of this tissue is beneficial for enhancing the actions of the muscle and contributing to health.

There are clear differences between muscle and fat, but both tissues are important

To maintain adipose tissue within optimal values ​​and, in turn, to develop muscle mass, you need to eat a healthy diet and exercise daily. These pillars are essential for both tissues to function properly.

The post Fat vs. muscular – these are its main differences that first appeared on research-school



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