After last week’s discussion around protein, this week it only seems fitting to move onto the topic of FATS.
What is it? Fat is the storage form of energy in our bodies. It is the main macronutrient related to satiety or the feeling of being full. Fats have numerous purposes in our bodies including, but not limited to, increasing cognition, assisting in the elasticity and structure of our hair, skin, and nail cells, and the lubrication of our joints.
Why do we care about it? Fats are the creamy, yummy parts of food that allow us to move through the day without feeling hungry all the time. Fats are the slowest macronutrient to be digested, which is what causes that feeling of satiety.
What foods contain it? For the purposes of ingesting quality foods as discussed in last week’s post, we will categorize fats into “good fats” and “bad fats”. This is essentially just a way to recognize which fats have wonderful uses by our bodies and which may be harmful to us if ingested too frequently or in large amounts. “Good fats” are foods that contain omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids such as oils (coconut, olive, sunflower, safflower, avocado, flaxseed, grapeseed, etc.), avocados, nuts and nut butters (ideally low sugar and sodium versions), whole eggs, coconut, and fish. “Bad fats” are processed and contain saturated fats, these include butter, canola oil, red meat, processed meats, fast food, and anything fried. In the video this week I will touch upon other fatty foods such as dairy products and the “view” on them. I will also go into depth on the consumption of some of the fatty foods listed above.
When should I eat it? As stated above, fats are designed for slow digestion and satiation. They are best consumed during times of the day when you need feel full, have less time to eat meals, or are sedentary. Fats are ideally NOT consumed prior to fitness or any intense exertion of energy. This is not to say you cannot eat any fat prior to a workout, it is just highly likely that your body will not be able to digest and utilize the fats consumed prior to beginning your workout, essentially causing your body to divert energy away from fitness in order to continue that digestion.
As always, if you have any questions about your specific situation and how fat could or should fit into your lifestyle, feel free to track me down at the gym or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
(Sources: Smith-Ryan, A. E. & Antonio, J. (2013). Sports nutrition and performance enhancing supplements. Ronkonkoma, NY: Linus Learning.)
Your C5 Nutrition Intern,