FAT: THE BATTLE OF GOOD VS EVIL
This entry is going to touch on the topic of fats (in the simplest of ways) and help you better understand and distinguish the differences between good and bad fats. So many people think that cutting out fats from their diets completely is the key to losing weight or an overall healthy lifestyle, when in truth, fats play a significant role in keeping your body happy and healthy, ESPECIALLY as an athlete! I'm going to keep it super simple, explaining what fats are awesome to include in your diets and what fats you should be avoiding. Fats should consume anywhere between 20-40% of your daily caloric intake depending on your goals, as athletes the 30-40% range is a good daily accomplishment to strive for.
The two types of fats that are a dynamic part of keeping your body healthy are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, these types of fats are good for your cholesterol, your heart and, your overall health.
SOURCES OF GOOD FATS
- OLIVE OIL
- CANOLA OIL
- SUNFLOWER OIL
- PEANUT OIL
- SESAME OIL
- PEANUT BUTTER
- SOYBEAN OIL
- CORN OIL
- SAFFLOWER OIL
- SUNFLOWER SEEDS
- PUMPKIN SEEDS
- SESAME SEEDS
- FATTY FISH
- SOY MILK
Saturated and Trans fats are fats that you want to try to avoid consuming. These fats increase the risk of diseases and elevate cholesterol levels.
SOURCES OF BAD FATS
- HIGH FAT CUTS OF MEAT (BEEF, LAMB, PORK)
- CHICKEN WITH THE SKIN
- WHOLE FAT DAIRY PRODUCTS (MILK AND CREAM)
- ICE CREAM
- PALM AND COCONUT OIL
- COMMERCIALLY BAKED PASTRIES
- PACKAGED SNACK FOODS
- STICK MARGARINE
- VEGETABLE SHORTENING
- FRIED FOODS
- CANDY BARS
IT'S PRETTY BASIC
The long and short on fat is that we all know we shouldn't eat junk!!! And if you didn't know what to eat and not to eat, it was just laid out for you above. To get into it a little bit further, here are a few simple steps you can take to make sure you're eating MORE GOOD FATS!!
- COOK WITH OLIVE OIL - for stovetop cooking instead of butter or margarine, for baking try canola oil or vegetable oil.
- EAT MORE AVOCADOS - they make for a very satisfying snack, and are loaded with heart and brain-healthy fats.
- REACH FOR NUTS - also make for a great snack and are an awesome substitute for breaded chicken and fish.
- SNACK ON OLIVES - olives make a great low-calorie snack and are a great source of monounsaturated fats.
- DRESS YOUR OWN SALAD - create your own healthy salad dressing, using olive oil, flaxseed, or sesame oil.
THE BEST FATS FOR ATHLETES
As athletes, we need certain fats to help our bodies operate and perform the way we desire. Good fats, as a matter of fact, help manage your attitude, stay on top of your mental game, fight fatigue, ease arthritis, joint pain, inflammatory skin conditions, and even control your weight. The one good fat that we haven't touched on yet are OMEGA-3s. OMEGA-3s are a type of polyunsaturated fat. While all the fats discussed are good for your health, OMEGA-3s have been proven to be especially beneficial. The biggest benefit of OMEGA-3s for athletes is joint support, and battling fatigue. Both essential aspects of being an athlete.
The most unfortunate thing about OMEGA-3s is that our bodies don't produce them, you can only obtain them by eating them. The best sources are fatty fish, such as salmon, herring, tuna etc.