Nick’s Nutrition Series, Part 4 Macros
Chapter 4: Fats
Just like carbs I’ve found that fats really get a bad rep. So let me make clear that eliminating fats from your diet does not eliminate body fat. Consuming the right amount of healthy fats and exercise will aid in fat loss and building muscle. The body uses fat as a fuel source, and fat is the major storage form of energy in the body. Fat also has many other important functions in the body=maintain proper body temperature, protects the body and organs, regulate hormones, and absorbs and stores fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K). Fats in food come in several forms, including saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated. Too much fat or too much of the wrong type of fat can be unhealthy.
When looking for fat, you should always choose more monounsaturated or polyunsaturated ones. These types of fats help lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease as well as stabilize cholesterol levels. They can be found in cold-water fish, avocados, nuts and vegetable oils. Bad fats (trans and saturated fats) will raise LDL cholesterol which can raise blood pressure and harden the arteries, increasing the risk of stroke and heart attack. High-density lipoprotein (good fats) help the body eliminate excessive amounts of low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Trans and saturated fats can be found mostly in processed foods.
For optimal results your diet should contain a balance of essential fatty acids omega 3’s (ex. flaxseed, peanut butter, walnuts, and fish) for heart health and regulating inflammation; and omega 6’s (ex. chicken and other trace or animal fats, avocado, nuts) which help stop cell damage, recovery after cell/tissue damage after training, and keep testosterone levels peaked in men.
How much? Again certain factors play a role, on average though- Aim to keep your fats between 20-35% of your total daily calorie intake. For example, if your total intake is 2000 calories per day your fat intake would be 45-77g per day. Also, saturated fats should account for no more than 8-10% (17-22g).