Why do athletes need to include FAT in their diets?

Fat performs a variety of functions in the body. It is an energy source, transports fat soluble vitamins, protects our organs and also provides an ingredient to make hormones. A performance enhancing diet should contain 15-30% of good fats in total calorie intake. In grams, just multiply your caloric intake by 15-30% and divide by 9.

Example: 4000 kcal diet X 25% (.25) = 1000 calories / 9 cal/g = 110g/day


FATS that you should LIMIT or AVOID


Saturated Fat-butter, lard, meat fat, solid shortening, palm oil, and coconut oil.

Hydrogenated Fat(Trans Fats)-chips, Lil Debbie Snacks, and cookies.

FATS that you should EAT


Monounsaturated Fat-olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil.

Poly- Unsaturated Fat(Omega-3)-walnuts, flax seeds, salmon.

Quick Facts about fat intake:

  • Remember that saturated fat (from high fat animal products), hydrogenated fat (trans-fats), coconut, and palm oils increase risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Monounsaturated, omega-3 fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fats can decrease risk of cardiovascular disease, and decrease inflammation.
  • Try to trim all fat and/or skin from beef and chicken breast before cooking
  • Limit or avoid foods that are fried, creamy salad dressings, mayonnaise, gravy, butter and margarine.
  • Most fast food items are extremely high in fat, so make healthy choices
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