Should Bodybuilders Restrict Their Intake of Dietary Fat?
We all know sugar is bad. It is fun to eat but it is bad for your body. It belongs on the bodybuilding blacklist, I’ve got no qualms there. We all know protein is good for bodybuilding. That is a simple and obvious discussion. But what about fat?
Possibly left over from the 1980’s war on fat, a common myth is that fat calories have no place in a healthy diet, let alone a bodybuilding diet. Around that time fat was demonized and carbohydrates were praised. The myth still lingers, but isn’t it time to let that battle go?
A bodybuilding diet consists of lean meats like turkey, chicken, fish, egg whites, and fat free dairy products. Bodybuilding newbies learn this practice almost immediately. We must keep calories low, so we must keep fat consumption low.
This seems to make sense, because after all everything about fat seems bad:
- It is more than twice as high in calories as protein and carbs.
- The word ‘fat’ implies fatness, which is anti-bodybuilding.
- Visually, fat looks disgusting with its gooey yellow appearance.
- Fatty foods drip with grease, which congeals when it sits at room temperature.
Eating fat will make us fat, right? So therefore we should avoid any and all dietary fat, right? Eh…
Fat is a necessary component of any diet. Healthy fats are responsible for a wide array of benefits dealing with everything from fat loss, to muscle gain, to joint lubrication, to appetite suppression, to general health, and so much more. Saturated fat used to be the popular nutrient to avoid, but not anymore.
In reality there is only one type of fat that you want to avoid at all costs, and it is call trans fat. Trans fats are man made and bad for your health, leading to blocked arteries and heart disease. They also increase catabolism, or muscle breakdown – the arch-nemesis of bodybuilders everywhere.
Studies show that athletes who eat less fat also have lower testosterone levels. Not good.
30% of your total calorie intake should come from fats. Since saturated fat actually promotes high testosterone levels, we want 10% of our daily calorie intake to come from saturated fats, most commonly found in beef. Another 10% should come from monounsaturated fats, and the final 10% should come from Omega-3s.
These healthy fats are put to good use by your body, they are not typically stored as bodyfat, are easily used for fuel during fat burning exercise, and even help to stimulate the release of stored bodyfat from adipose cells.
Avoid trans fats whenever possible, but be sure to eat a healthy quantity of essential fatty acids (EFAs) and other healthy fats. The majority of your fat intake should come from monounsaturated fats such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil; and from foods high in omega-3 fats such as trout and salmon.
Also consider using an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement such as Fish Oil. Try the Hypercet Omega 3-6-9 fish oil supplement to balance out your essential fatty acids for proper health.
Remember, 10% saturated, 10% monounsaturated, and 10% omega-3.