How do you properly include fats in your diet? High fat foods are generally considered “bad for you foods.” Fat contains more than twice as many calories as carbohydrates and protein. A very high fat diet will almost certainly add pounds. However, if you eliminate all fats in your diet you’ll suffer some serious negative consequences to your health. Here are a few pointers about fats.
Positive Aspects of Fat
Runners need fat to be a able to train and race well. Fat is a source of aerobic energy for easy running, it transports the vitamins A,D,E, and K throughout the body, and it prolongs digestion by slowing down the stomach’s secretions of hydrochloric (stomach) acid. If a runner refuses to include any fats in the diet, there is absolutely no way that he or she will be able to run to his or her potential. So get over the preconceptions and misinformation and understand that running and the smart consumption of fatty foods go together. Fatty foods do not always have to be “bad for you foods.” Amazingly enough, fats make runners faster!
How Much Fat To Eat
Most nutritionists say that 30% of our diet should contain fat. Others say below 25% or even 20%. To make this simple, if you consume 2000 calories in your diet (which is normal) you should consume no more than 65 grams of fat.
Saturated fat is really the bad half of fat. When you include fats in your diet, try to make sure that the saturated fat count is low. Saturated fats raise cholesterol, which is not a good thing. Saturated fats have also been shown to contribute to coronary heart disease, and other illnesses. Foods where saturated fats are found in high supply are red meat, milk, butter, coconut, and certain vegetable oils.
Unsaturated fats are the good half of fat. Make sure you choose foods that have a high ratio of unsaturated fat to saturated. Unsaturated fat contains two categories, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. The mono variety actually have been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. Monounsaturated fats can be found in most natural oils, including olive and peanut oils. The polyunsaturated variety is also important. This kind of fat has been shown to lower total cholesterol. However, still be advised that including too many fats in your diet, whether they be the mono or poly variety, could result in an intake of too many calories. So just because your favorite ice cream has a lot of unsaturated fat compared to saturated, that doesn’t mean you can eat the whole carton!
“Low Fat” Foods
I’m sure you’ve all seen the “low fat” Oreo cookies, or the “low fat” Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. While these products might be low fat, they’re still high in calories. You see, to keep the relatively same flavor of these products without fat, the makers include lots and lots of sugar. So just because a product says it’s low in fat, it doesn’t mean you can go hog wild, and eat the whole box (Which I have been guilty of in the past!)
“Fat free foods”
“Fat free” foods seem to be everywhere in grocery stores. While these foods contain no “fat,” they are invariably high in calories. To honest truth is that eating too many “fat free” foods will make you fat. Some of these types of fat substitutes can also have side effects. For example, fat potato chips with Olean have a fat substitute has been engineered not to cling on to our bodies like normal fat. What this means is that it goes right through us. In other words, if you eat these no fat chips, you’re gonna pay for it (ie. cramping, blotting, and diarrhea). I’d rather just eat the high fat variety!