Fats get a bad reputation with the current low-fat diet fad. It all depends on the quality of the fat you are consuming. Sure, if you’re consuming high amounts of saturated fats or trans fats then you will pack on the pounds and cause all sorts of detrimental health effects on your body. Consuming more healthy fats such as mono-unsaturated will have positive effect on your health.
Fat has numerous functions in the body. It is our preferred long-term source of energy. Fats are the structural component of all cells as it makes up our cell membranes. Fats are vital to a normal functioning nervous system and are very important part of many hormones in the body.
Fat intake should range from 20-35% of diet depending on level of activity spent throughout the day and is unique for each individual. This range is determined once protein and carbohydrate intake is determined. If the proper fats are consumed, then a higher percentage of fats can be consumed. Again, it’s about the type of fat you are eating!
1 gram of fat = 9 calories
Based off a 2000 calorie diet (base yours off your weight goals) Healthy Fats: 2000 x 33% = 660 calories
To figure out how many grams daily: take total calories from fat and divide that number by 9 (number of calories per gram of fat).
660/9= 73g daily
Best sources of omega 3’s:
- Wild Alaskan salmon
- Albacore tuna
- Lake trout
- Marine algae
Nuts and seeds
- Flax seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
These are numerous in the standard American diet. They’re in refined vegetable oils, majority of snack foods, cookies, crackers, sweets, and most processed foods. If it’s not a natural food (breathing or growing) then it most likely contains high levels of omega 6. Avoid all Hydrogenated Oils!
Healthy Sources of Dietary Fats and Oils
The following list is what I believe to be the healthier oils to consume
- Monounsaturated oil: Extra virgin olive oil (I usually use olive oil while cooking)
- Polyunsaturated oil: safflower, canola, borage, primrose, avocado, walnut, sesame, flaxseed, pumpkin.
- Saturated fat: Not all Saturated fats are created equal. Coconut oil has numerous benefits and cultures that consume higher amounts of coconut oil have a lower prevalence of cardiovascular disease.
- Saturated fats (in moderation, not over 10% of total fat intake)
- Grass feed meats
- Organ meats
- Organic butter
- Coconut oil
- Fish oil – I usually recommend supplementing 3g daily. This again is unique for each individual and should be discussed with your doctor before supplementation.