…continued – Fats

Fats are the most dense energy source available. Each gram of fat contains 9 calories. Over 2 times that of protein or carbohydrates. This energy density means that you can eat a much less amount of foods high in fat and hit your calorie limit very quickly.

Fats are a necessary nutrient essential to the body for many vital functions. The thing is you just don’t need very much and most people consume far more than is needed from a functionality standpoint.

Aside from saturated fat and trans fatty acids, all fat is not bad, it’s the excess calories that come with it that are bad.

Fat does not make you fat. Excess calories make you fat. If you burn 3000 calories a day yet you consume 4000 calories, you’re going to increase your body fat. It doesn’t matter how low your fat intake is. If your caloric consumption exceeds your caloric expenditure, you add body fat.

The key thing here, as I stated earlier, is that fat is very calorie dense. You can eat twice the amount of protein as fat and still consume fewer calories and the protein, as you know, fuels muscle growth and repair.

Structured Lipids

We know that some fats are essential, and lately research has uncovered some really unique and interesting traits certain fats posses. One fat in particular, CLA – conjugated linoleic acid – has a unique ability to decrease body fat levels and increase muscle mass. CLA is a very interesting lipid and has also been shown to have anti-cancer properties.

CLA is found in beef, cheese, and milk, but only in small amounts. By conjugating linoleic acid, scientists can produce CLA in supplement form, CLA 1000, allowing you to extract the nutrient-partition effects of CLA without the unwanted calories that would come from the foods rich in CLA.

Many people supplement with fats such as borage oil and flaxseed oil. Not a good idea. People just need to stop running out and buying a supplement just because they read an article on praising its effects.

Other than CLA, supplementing with fats has no real place in building muscle. If you keep your whole food intake varied and include fish several times a week and maybe add a teaspoon of olive or safflower oil to salad every now and then, you can leave the fat pills for someone else to buy.

How Much Fat

Now to the question, “How much fat I should consume per day?”. Keeping fat intake to about 10 percent of your total caloric intake is optimum. This is plenty of fat for all necessary functions it provides in the body and limits the empty calories associated with fat intake.

If you eat 3100 calories per day 310 of those
calories or 34 to 35 grams should come from fat
(3100 x .10) / 9 = 34.4

 

When following a lean diet high in protein and moderate in carbohydrates, your fat intake typically takes care of itself. But it is essential that you read labels and study up on the nutritional breakdown of various foods so you will have a sound understanding of which foods are high in fat and which ones are not.

It would be wise to purchase a book that lists all the foods and the nutritional values to have handy when you need it. I recommend Nutrition Almanac. This is an excellent reference source that gives a listing and breaks down the complete nutritional contents of just about every food you can imagine. This is certainly a worthwhile purchase.

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