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Fats are another controversial one. First, I just wanna clear the air by saying that fats do not make you fat. A consistent calorie surplus makes you fat. There is no one macronutrient that causes fat gain, which is why I am such a proponent of including all three and in the right amounts to reach your calorie goals
So let’s get into it! Fats break down into different types of fatty acids. There are three basic forms of fats: triglycerides, phospholipids and sterols. We mostly rely on triglycerides. Some triglycerides are helpful and necessary, while others are harmful and can severely impact our health by causing inflammation, clogged arteries and high blood pressure. For the ‘good’ fats, there are monounsaturated fats, from things like olive oil, avocados and nuts. polyunsaturated omega 3 fats from things like fish, other seafood and flax. And saturated fats from things like coconut oil and pasture raised animals and eggs.
Trans- unsaturated fats (trans fats) are the ones you want to avoid. These include man made industrial seed oils (canola, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, grapeseed, corn, soybean, vegetable). These processed oils contain excessive amounts of omega 6 fatty acids, which aren’t inherently bad (your body still needs omega 6’s) but can lead to inflammation when consumed in high amounts.
Like certain amino acids with protein, there are certain fatty acids that the body can’t make on it’s own, which is why we must get them through food. These are linoleic acid (omega 6’s) and alpha linoleic acid (omega 3’s). Omega 3’s are especially vital because unless you are eating fatty fish more than 4x per week, most people aren’t getting enough. Omega 6’s are very abundant in most of our diets, they are found in things like nuts, seeds, eggs & grass fed meats and various oils. The problem here is that when the ratio of Omega 6’s to Omega 3’s is too high, it causes inflammation & other health issues. This is why it’s vital to either eat more fatty fish or supplement with a high quality fish oil to balance your omegas that will in turn reduce inflammation, which is the root of many health issues.
Benefits of fat:
How much should you be consuming? Same thing as protein and carbs, aim to have a fat source present at each meal, whether thats a homemade salad dressing, half an avocado, 2 tbsp peanut butter, a small handful of nuts, a fatty cut of meat, there are many ways to get your fats in. As noted previously, I always recommend supplementing with a high quality fish oil to ensure those Omega 3’s as well!
If you are tracking macros, here is the newsletter about how to calculate your calories / macros. I personally never recommend females go below 40g fat daily and males go below 50g fat daily. Those are both on the very low end, keep in mind. Like I mentioned in the last newsletter about carbs, some people do better with higher fats and lower carbs, while others do better with lower fats and higher carbs. At the end of the day, just keep your total calories / protein in check and you’ll have nothing to worry about! Stay focused on what makes you feel best.
If you have any questions about fats, go ahead and click that reply button!