Fats tend to be the nutrient which causes the greatest amount of confusion and is often misunderstood. Plenty of people have a fat phobia and feel that eating fat will cause them to get fat. They believe that if they want to rid their body of excess fat then they should remove fat from their diet. This is far from the truth.
Fat not only plays a key role in getting leaner but also in maintaining day to day health. The key is choosing the right types of fats as there are good fats and bad fats. The bad fats are trans-fat, and some saturated fats which are usually found in processed foods. The good fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat. These can be found in certain fish like salmon or mackerel and any kind of plant source of fat such as nuts, oils, and avocados. These are considered essential fats meaning that you must take them in through diet and supplementation. Healthy fats can help to mobilize stored body fat. They basically tell our body that we have a good fat source coming in so it is okay to use fat for energy. Outside their fat burning benefits polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats also play roles in the proper functioning of our hormonal and nervous system, cognitive function(focus), they also help our bodies to absorb vitamins and minerals, cushion vital organs, maintain heart health, lower bad cholesterol and stabilize blood glucose.
A good recommendation for each day’s fat intake is approximately 30 to 40% of daily calories coming from fat. Also timing your fat intake earlier in the day will give you greater energy and focus and allow you to utilize carbohydrates much more efficiently later in the day.
So when dieting make sure to not skimp on your fats. You will feel much better due the increase energy. Fat has 9 calories per gram as opposed to a carbohydrate which is only 4. You will feel less hungry because fat takes longer to digest, which makes it less likely you will stray from your diet. Be sure to supplement with some essential fatty acid supplements to ensure that you are getting enough good fat throughout the day.
Dominick Walsh is a blogger for Performance Nutrition and TMRzoo.com and covers all men’s health topics and exercise issues including protein powders, diets, weight loss, weight lifting supplements, fat burners and supplement reviews. Dominick’s columns cover everything you need to know about your pre, during and post workout nutrition.