Types of Fat
There are three major categories of fats: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated.
- Monounsaturated Fats
These fats, which are found in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils, are an important part of any diet. They provide fuel for your cells and can help to reduce cholesterol levels in your body.
- Polyunsaturated Fats
These are known as essential fatty acids, meaning your body cannot produce them and you need to ingest them as part of a healthy diet. Polyunsaturated fats can be found in corn, flax seed and sunflower oils, as well as in certain kinds of fish. These fats are needed to improve brain function, cushion the organs, and lower the levels of “bad” cholesterol in your blood.
- Saturated Fats
Found only in animal products such as whole milk, cream, meat and poultry, saturated fats raise the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood. They should be used sparingly or not at all, as they can contribute to unhealthy weight gain and cardiovascular disease.
How Much Fat Do I Need?
You should get between 20 and 30 percent of your overall calories from fat. Keep in mind that fats are much more concentrated than protein and carbohydrates; while these nutrients contain about 4 calories per gram, fats contain more than twice that amount, with 9 calories per gram. You can become a wise observer by keeping track of all these quantities and measure if it is really effective on your body or not.
What is the Role of Fatty Acids in Bodybuilding?
Essential fatty acids are responsible for the production of all other fatty acids in your body; they are critical for the manufacture of important hormones, including testosterone (which is highly necessary for muscle growth).
Another important function of essential fatty acids is the transport of vitamins to the cells of your body. Fat is also used by the liver to aid in the digestion of proteins, which are needed for muscle growth; in addition, fatty acids increase insulin sensitivity, boosting your body’s ability to convert carbohydrates into energy. Last but not least, fatty acids promote healthy brain function.
How Can I Get Essential Fatty Acids In My Diet?
For the most part, you should not have to resort to popping pills to get your healthy fats. You can supplement your essential fatty acid intake with a bodybuilding flaxseed oil blend – this can be added to your weight gain shakes or drizzled on your salad.