Diet moguls always make comparisons between good fats and bad fats or else saturated fats versus unsaturated fats. Then, pro bodybuilders praise on Keto diet which is based on taking in huge amounts of fat. So, what are those fats? How to consume them to get the most out of them without developing a enormous love handles? That the problematic we’ll try to answer in this article.
The scientific name for fat is fatty acids or lipids. Its main role is structural and it’s actually as important as protein.
1 g = 9 Kcal = 38 KJ.
Let’s break down those call and quotes “good fats” and “bad fats”
Essential Fatty Acids
There are 4 families: omega 7, omega 9, omega 6 and omega 3. Man does not synthesize omega 3 and 6 precursors. These lipids are the essential fatty acids. Their roles are:
Omegas 6: These types of lipids contribute to maintaining the integrity of the epidermis by limiting water losses, stimulate the synthesis of sex hormones such as testosterone), cholesterol-lowering effect by lowering LDL cholesterol, activate the immune system to the inflammatory response and promotes platelet aggregation (can cure a cut for example).
Omega 3: Those lipids participate in the development and physiology of the retina, brain and nervous system, maintaining cognitive functions (e.g. allows a greater degree of nervousness and concentration), decrease platelet function by its anti-thrombotic action , hypotriglyceridemic effect, anti-inflammatory action, anti-arrhythmic effect by regulating the blood flow (all these elements serve to hinder any development of a cardiovascular pathology such as arteriosclerosis and the complications that result).
Saturated fatty acids
Those are the notorious “bad lipids”. Indeed. they increase blood cholesterol (especially the LDL fraction) so it’s atherogenic, in other terms it harms arteries.
Mono and Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Lowers blood cholesterol (especially the LDL fraction) so it’s a good lipid .
They are found in products derived from ruminants, food production, culinary transformations, milk and derivatives, meat and fat.
The +: Lower fat mass and increases lean mass in obese people.
The -: Increase the lipid peroxidation, triggering the aggression of the vessel cavity that causes fibrosis; proatherogenic effect (may cause clots to form in the blood).
Cholesterol: precursor of vitamin D, biliary synthesis, structural role (cell membrane stabilization), synthesis of sex hormones and adrenal hormones.
Phytosterol (= plant sterols): hypocholesterolemic effect from 2g / day.
How do lipids work?
Fatty acids have three principal roles in the body which are:
• Energetic: especially in fasting phase.
• Structural: in the architecture of cell membranes.
• Functional: synthesis of hormones and intercellular carriers.
How shall I take fat sources?
Try to avoid fats during pre, intra, and post-workout period as they delay nutrient digestion.
Include them in other meals throughout the day as they lower the glycemic index and improve the absorption of fat soluble vitamins.
Consume a balanced variety of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and saturated sources.
Avoid fats that are not naturally occurring (i.e. those made in factories – corn, canola, safflower, etc.)
Ensure a sufficient intake of Omega 3’s from a variety of sources.
Healthy lipid intake for healthy adult:
• TOTAL LIPIDS: 30 to 35% of daily calorie intakes.
• Linoleic acid (Om6): 4% of daily calorie intakes.
• Alpha linolenic acid (Om3): 1% of daily calorie intakes, in which:
• saturated fatty acids: <12% of daily calorie intakes.
• Mono unsaturated fatty acid (oleic A.): 15 to 20% of daily calorie intakes.
Ok! Now you may wonder practically speaking where do I go with all those beautiful words… Don’t worry I get it, just follow those simple advises! Include fats in other intakes than those before and after training, meaning throughout the day as they lower the glycemic index and improve the absorption of fat soluble vitamins. You want to avoid fats during the pre, intra, and post-workout. Consume a balanced variety of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and saturated sources by mixing your fat sources (see below for some examples). Avoid fats that are not naturally in the nutrients you eat.
Fat intake requirements are also related to your morphotype. Simple put, a morphotype is a “genetic pattern” your organism will borrow in regard to how it is built and it will work. Still to keep it simple, there are three morphotypes:
- Ectomorph: Narrow hips and clavicles, small joints (wrist/ankles), thin build, stringy muscle bellies, long limbs. You burn calories really fast and doing so, if you don’t eat a lot and lift weight, you’ll appear scrawny. On the flip side, after a couple of years hitting the gym and dieting properly, once you get muscle mass you wanted, you stay lean so you don’t have to bother yourself having a 2 months or so cutting plan.
- Mesomorph: Wide clavicles, narrow waist, thinner joints, long and round muscle bellies. You burn calories moderately. This way, you can build muscle but also fat if you don’t consume the excess calories. So, you may look athletic and lean or athletic with some fat surplus.
- Endomorph: Blocky, thick rib cage, wide/thicker joints, hips as wide (or wider) than clavicles, shorter limbs. You burn calories quite slowly. So, your organism, saturated in energy, builds more easily fatty acids. What ends up being stored in your adipose tissue. In short, you develop fat fast.
There’s no better morphotype than another. When you’re ectomorph, you struggle getting stronger and develop muscle mass. When you’re Endomorph you grow muscle more easily but fat as well, so you’ll have to thrive losing those fats to look aesthetic.
What you have to remind is, we all can tend to be mesomorph, which you dug it is the best suited morphotype in fitness. But that demands discipline and willingness.
Good Fats In a nutshell
My top 3 essential fatty acid sources:
Daily Fat Intake for Ectomorph
100-150 lbs = 45-50 grams per day
150-200 lbs = 50-55 grams per day
200 lbs. and over = 55-60 grams per day
Daily Fat Intake for Mesomorph
100-150 lbs = 40-45 grams per day
150-200 lbs = 45-50 grams per day
200 lbs. and over = 50-55 grams per day
Daily Fat Intakes for Endomorph
100-150 lbs = 50-55 grams per day
150-200 lbs = 55-60 grams per day
200 lbs. and over = 60-65 grams per day
OK, fit fam! This is it. Hopefully you’re not afraid about eating fat food anymore. Just eat them wisely. Personally I try not to eat carbs, or at least not fast digesting ones, when I swallow fat food. Alright! See you in the next one ;).