The Role of Healthy Fats in your Diet
It is very common now for people to want to follow ‘low fat’ diets or eat ‘fat free’ foods - Thanks to the media.
However, it is important to know that the body needs fat to function and will not lose fat without it.
Higher fat foods are more calorie dense as there is 9 calories to a gram of fats, while there is only 4 calories per gram of Protein or Carbohydrates. This is the reason ‘higher fat’ foods can be seen to increase weight gain.
Fat helps with energy levels, mood, plays an important role in heart and brain health and hormone regulation especially testosterone production.
Recommended Fat Sources:
Fatty Fish and Fish Oil (Salmon)
Red Meat (Beef)
Nuts (Almonds, Chia etc)
Nut Butters (Natural Peanut Butter or Almond Butter)
Oils (Coconut and Flaxseed Oil)
Types of Fats & How they impact your Health
Saturated Fat: Coming mainly from meat sources and raises blood cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL). Saturated fat can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Trans Fat: Typically found in processed foods which helps stop them from spoiling and easier to cook. Trans fat can also increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Trans & Saturated Fats should make up less than 10% of your daily fat-intake
Monounsaturated Fat: Usually found in nuts and oils and can benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control.
Polyunsaturated Fat: Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Plant based foods and Oils contain polyunsaturated fats and can improve blood cholesterol levels and decrease your risk of heart disease.
Most of your fats should come from thse two sources
‘Healthy Fats’: Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 (Linolenic acid) and Omega 6 (Linoleic acid) fatty acids are two types of polyunsaturated fats our body doesn't produce on it's own naturally, so we need to source from the food we eat.
We recommend incorporating; Chia Seeds, Almonds, Walnuts, Salmon, Flaxseed's, Flaxseed oil, Vegetable oils and Fish-oil tablets into your nutrition plan to; supply the body with the Omega 3 and Omega 6 it need, while traces are also found it in other 'good fats' such as Eggs and Avocado's.
A lack of these essential Fatty Acids in your diet can lead to scaly skin, dermatitis and reduced growth
"Low-Fat" diets and why we don't encourage them
Low Fat diets have been made popular in the past by the media and other circles but they aren't good for you and usually fail as a method of altering body composition.
Fats do NOT make you fat, and neither do Carbohydrates or Protein... excess calories do (on a basic level).
Why we like Fats and why you should too:
Fats are the most energy dense macro-nutrient (offering 9 calories per gram compared to the 4 calories per gram that Carbohydrates and Protein offer). Most of the energy supplied to your body's tissue and organs (including the heart) come from eating Fats.
Fat is an ideal fuel source because it contains almost twice the energy of glucose (carbohydrates), weighs less and is easily transported and stored.
Important vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E and K are transported via. Fats in the body
Fats are critical in the transmission of nerve signals that generate muscle contractions.
Fats protect your vital organs and provide your body with much needed insulation, reducing thermal stress in colder climates.
Feeling lethargic, loss of libido, poor menstrual cycles while trying to lose weight/on poverty calories?
Try increasing your Fat intake (if you’re not wanting to increase calories, this may come at the cost of Carbs) as they help restore and replenish your Hormones and natural Testosterone levels.
Fat is emptied more slowly from the stomach so delays the feeling of 'hunger'.
This may help with compliance on a lower calorie diet.
These are some of the more important of many reasons why fats are important to not just our survival but our success in achieving our body composition goals.
All of the three macro-nutrients (Protein, Carbs and Fats) play important roles and it's important to understand why/what they do to the body before following the current media trends in your attempt to lose weight.