What You Need to Know About Fat in Your Diet

What You Need to Know About Fat in Your Diet

As a personal trainer and performance coach people often ask me about eating fat… what do I tell them?

Good news:

* Fats release energy slowly and help keep you feeling full and regulate blood sugar

* Some vitamins are only soluble in fat so they are needed for optimal health

* Needed to make cell membranes

* Contains antioxidants

* Boosts testosterone levels (one benefit of this is that we store LESS fat!)

* Fish and flax oil in particular help with brain function

* Fish oils has anti inflammatory properties (good for joints)

* Fish oil increases Basal metabolic rate (you burn more calories overall, helping weight loss)

* Fish oil improves the ratio of fat burned when compared to carbs (you will lose body fat faster)

* Wow this is a long list of good things!

Bad news:

*Saturated fats (those that are solid at room temperature) are bad and raise blood cholesterol, clog arteries and do all those things which are bad for your heart

*Trans fat is another kind of bad fat. It is made by adding hydrogen atoms to vegetable oil (this is not a chemistry lesson don’t worry) this makes the oil last longer and (scary thought)… taste better.

*Trans fat is a killer. It raises “Bad” cholesterol and long term studies indicate that for a 2 percent increase in trans fat intake, you get an increase of 1/3 inch extra on your waist per year. Ugh.

*Trans fat is everywhere – cakes, snacks, cookies, margarine, many fried foods. Avoid it at all costs.

Where to get good fat?

*Fish and fish oil supplements – make sure they have vitamin E in them to prevent them going bad

*Flax seeds and flax oil supplements – make sure you keep them in the fridge

*Nuts – all good but eat a variety and not too many, they are high in calories

*Olive oils are OK as well – But don’t cook with them, add them to your salads

How much?

Fat should take up about 30% of your daily calorie intake. You should eat a variety of fats. Fat is not the evil nutrient that it was made out to be in the 1980s and 90s. It all depends on what types of fat you eat. The list of proven benefits that fat provides is so long that it can hardly be considered a “bad” thing any more. As a personal trainer in Singapore, I know that some of these sources of healthy fat that I recommend are not commonly available in Singapore. But they are so important that I highly recommend you get them into your diet.

More about fats?

Fats keep you full, they are full of nutrients. In addition, the foods that contain good fats (nuts, fish etc) are also good for you. What a great deal! I recommend them to personal training clients, athletes, and everybody else! No matter if you are in Singapore or any other country, you need these healthy fats.