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Fat

Tuesday, 11 April 2017 11:52:29 Europe/London

There is a lot of confusion out there about how dietary fat affects your body, your diet, and your specific goal (losing fat, building muscle, etc.).

So, before we can get into the specifics of what your daily fat intake should be and what foods that fat should come from, we first need to go over a few basics and clear up some fat-related confusion along the way.

  • Does eating fat make you fat?

The answer here is “sometimes,” but probably not in the way that you might think.

In the literal sense, NO, eating fat does NOT make you fat. Not even a little. This whole concept is just a myth that should be ignored completely.

Unless of course you are eating too many excess calories, and those excess calories just so happen to come from fat.

In that case, sure, fat will make you fat.

However, it’s NOT the dietary fat itself that would be the cause of your fat gain. It’s the excess calories it provided, and those excess calories could have come from any other macronutrient (protein or carbohydrates).

As we talked about in the first post about energy balance, when you consume more calories than you need (positive energy balance) your body will store those unused excess calories for later use, primarily in the form of body fat.

  • The different types of fat.
  1. Trans Fat
  2. Saturated Fat
  3. Monounsaturated Fat
  4. Polyunsaturated Fat

Some are indeed quite “bad and unhealthy” and should probably be limited to some degree or possibly avoided completely. Others on the other hand are quite “good and healthy” and should purposely be eaten and comprise the majority of your daily fat intake.

  • Trans Fats

Trans fat has been shown to raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels, cause heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes. It has absolutely no positive benefit to the human body in any way, yet it has been scientifically proven to harm the body in a variety of ways.It’s literally as bad and unhealthy as it gets.

  • Foods high in trans fat.

  Fried foods.

  Fast food.

  Typical snack foods (chips, cookies, etc.).

  Doughnuts.

  Various pastries.

  • Sat fats.

Next up on our list of so called “bad” and “unhealthy” fats is saturated fat. While it’s definitely not as bad as trans fat (nothing is), it still appears as though saturated fat is probably pretty bad for most people in high amounts.

  • Foods high in sat fat.

  Beef

  Veal

  Lamb

  Pork

  Dairy products made from whole milk (milk, cheese, butter).

  Poultry skin.

  Coconut oil and Palm oil

  • Monounsaturated fat.

Monounsaturated fat, which is most abundant in foods like nuts and various plant oils (olive oil etc) will most often end up comprising the majority of your total fat intake. Well, research also shows that monounsaturated fats may help lower your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, which means a diet containing a sufficient amount of monounsaturated fat may actually help REDUCE your risk of heart disease and stroke.

  • Polyunsaturated fat.

With monounsaturated fats comprising the majority of your fat intake, the next largest portion of your daily fat intake should come from polyunsaturated fats. And once again, there is a very good reason for this.

Polyunsaturated fat contains essential fatty acids which are made up of Omega-6 and Omega-3.

  • Omega-6.

Specifically, the omega-6 fatty acid is most commonly found in most vegetable oils (and most other food oils) as well as various types of nuts. For this reason, it is rarely ever lacking in the typical diet and, if anything, is usually a bit too high as it is.

  • Omega-3.

The omega-3 fatty acid, which is most abundant in fish (and fish oil supplements), basically improves your body’s ability to do damn near EVERYTHING (build muscle, lose fat, live, function, prevent diseases, etc.).

Research has shown that it lowers your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, raises your good (HDL) cholesterol levels, reduces inflammation (and so on and so on) as well as helps prevent or improve a list of diseases and disorders.

  • How much fat per day?
  1. Trans fat is garbage and should be avoided completely.
  2. Saturated fat isn’t as bad as people have always made it out to be and definitely shouldn’t be avoided completely.
  3. Monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat (which includes the essential fatty acids) should comprise the majority of your daily fat intake.
  4. An added emphasis should be placed on getting a sufficient amount the omega-3 fatty acid.

In order for this recommendation to truly make sense, the first thing you are going to need to know is that 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories.

From there, you just need to do some basic math using the ideal daily calorie intake you learnt how to calculate in the first post about energy balance. For example:

  1. Let’s say for example you have worked out your daily calorie requirements using the formula from last week’s blog (see post on energy balance) and that figure is 3000.
  2. 25% of 3000 is 750 calories.
  3. You then divide 750 by 9 as that is how many calories 1g of carbohydrates provides.
  4. The number you get is therefore the number of carbohydrates you need to consume in grams, which is 83.3.
  • Foods high in good fat.

  Fish

  Fish Oil Supplements (I’ll be explaining these in detail later.)

  Nuts

  Nut Butters

  Seeds

  Olive Oil

  Avocados

Posted in News By

Mike