Five Facts About Healthy Fats


Workouts and training sessions are a great way to reduce excess fat. Can you guess what the other half of the formula to good health is? Of course, it is nutrition! But did you know that including healthy fats in your diet can actually help you maintain a healthy weight and body fat?

Dietary fat has always been an interest of mine because it serves so many important functions in our body. It has also been on my radar because of the media's misrepresentation of the facts (Booo!). Here is what you need to know:

1. The media's misleading message that a low-fat diet is the healthiest diet is dangerous to the public because of their lack of nutrition education and inability to decipher nutrition facts from fiction. There is not one healthiest nutrition pattern for everyone; we all

2. Just some of the essential roles that dietary fat play in the body are their structural and functional parts within the cell membrane, brain development, proper vision, gene regulation, and regulating metabolism.

3. If you remember one thing, please remember this - Saturated and trans fats are unhealthy fats to limit. Things like fried foods and margarine are made up of these types of fat. The FDA recommends less than 10% of our daily intake is saturated fat. This will vary depending on your body composition and your health goals. We can have some but please limit the fired foods that you consume if you want to optimize your sports performance.

4. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the two healthy kinds we want to look for. These contain omega 3 fatty acids, which helps to balance inflammation levels, improve brain function, and promote cell structure integrity. A few of my Soldier's favorite sources are olive oil, avocados, nuts (specifically peanut butter), fish, and coconut oil.

5. Specifically for athletes, increasing healthy fats each day has been shown to support your cardiovascular system, protect joints, and lead to healthy skin. Dietary fat is also the main energy source for endurance athletes.

Happy snacking!

Further reading:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fat/art-20045550

Phillips SM. A brief review of higher dietary protein diets in weight loss: a focus on athletes. Sports Med. 2014 Nov;44 Suppl 2:S149-53.

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