Fat

Fat – is very important to have in the diet. I would say very underrated for health and body composition changes. Recent research as Menno Henselmans (who I trust more than a lot of people in the industry today), has pointed out,  recommend shooting for around .4 x your basal metabolic rate as a starting point. (ex 1800 calories BMR x .4 = 80 grams) This would increase if you eat very low carbs or lower carbs and probably decrease if you eat a very high carb diet. If your in the middle like me and what I recommend, then it’s probably spot on. Increasing fat while decreasing carbs has been show to have anti-inflammatory effects in the body. Fat also helps protein to digest more efficiently (this is why a lot meat sources have fat naturally included). Fat is a much more efficient fuel than carbs under restful conditions as well. For people like myself and many others that are similar to me, we exercise about an hour a day 4-7 times a week. While this does require carbs it’s actually not all that many, especially if you have some non-lifting days in there. Meaning if you don’t need, but so many carbs and only need but so much protein, than fat is the prime candidate for increasing. Fat also has a linear relationship with Testosterone (Saturated and Monounsaturated do). If I showed you the list of benefits that having adequate Testosterone levels for both men and women, then you wouldn’t believe me. Everything from mood, energy, ability to change body composition, increased metabolism and recovery, nutrient partitioning and overall outlook on life are affected by this.  That being said here is an awesome link to show the benefits of proper fat intake, especially if your on the low end The Truth About Saturated Fat.

Fat benefits:

  • Cell metabolism
  • Lowers inflammation
  • Blood sugar control
  • Anabolic hormone production (Testosterone) (don’t eat fat and see what happens to your sex drive)
  • Vitamin absorption
  • Tastes incredible
  • Promotes satiety
  • Protects joint health
  • Increase insulin sensitivity
  • Lowers glycemic index of foods and keeps insulin under control
  • Certain types (saturated fat) boost thyroid and keep the liver healthy
  • Helps cholesterol production

However, The type of fat actually matters though. The sources of fat you ingest are much more important than the type of carbs you ingest. Most people don’t want to admit this, but the amount of carbs you eat is far more important than they type as they all break down into sugar eventually. Meaning if you’re trying to hit 150g of carbs and you do so through pizza crust and not vegetables, fruit or complex carbs, then yes your are missing out on some vitamins, but the glucose load over a 24 hour period is the same. Basically an IIFYM (if it fits your macros) approach, but while that can for carbs, it definitely does not work for fat. Fat on the other hand is a different story. 100 grams of fat from avocado vs 100 grams of fat of cottonseed or soybean oil, will have drastically different effects on health and body composition.

Saturated and monounsaturated fat contain the above benefits, which help you build muscle and burn fat. Polyunsaturated vegetable oils and trans fat lower hormone levels, slow the metabolism and promote inflammation. The reason these are bad is because they skew the bodies fat balance with too much omega 6 in relation to omega 3.  Some research even now shows that fish oil isn’t really as great as originally thought if your consuming the right types of fat.  If your consuming tons of Poly oils though, then fish oil can help improve the omega 3 ratio in the diet.  In other words if you eat more saturated and monounsaturated fats, then you probably don’t need to supplement with fish oil much at all.  Try to keep polyunsaturated fats as low as you can in your diet.  This is easier said then done as they are widespread in a lot of foods, but you don’t want a lot of these in you diet. Here is a really good article by Chris Kesser on the negatives of these fats How too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 is making us sick.

Almond Butter

Almond Butter

  • Healthy Sources – (There’s many more healthy sources, but these are what I use)
  • Almond butter (eat this rather than peanut butter, because of the increased amount of monounsaturated fats),
  • Avocados – (Guacamole cups allow for easy preparation and storing to eat this regularly)
  • Dairy Fats (sour cream, full fat dairy)
  • Fish oil (these are technically polyunsaturated, but it’s not a vegetable oil and have a ton of benefits),
  • Egg yolks (mono, saturated fat and cholesterol, very important for testosterone levels.),
  • Animal fat (the kind that comes naturally in beef and chicken),
  • Coconut oil and milk
  • Almond milk
  • Cheese (usually saturated)

 

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