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
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