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Four Fat Facts

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January 27, 2017

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Blog, Diet

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Remember the fat-free boom that swept the country in the 1990s? We avoided all kinds of foods with fat: cheese, eggs, meat, even nuts and avocados. Most of the experts were recommending a low-fat diet to prevent heart disease but we ended up with a diet full of sugar (lots of fat-free, sugary yogurt) and carbohydrates, like bagels. Because fat was the villain, we loaded up on carbohydrates.

But now, it’s clearer that some fats, namely plant-based fats found in nuts and olive oil, as well as those found in fatty fish, are beneficial and may even help reduce the risk of heart disease.

But before you start loading up on fats, drinking butter-drenched “bulletproof coffee” and chowing down on bacon, below are four facts you need to know.

1. It’s easy to eat too much fat. A gram of fat has nine calories while carbohydrates and protein have only four calories per gram. Healthy fats are important but remember: moderation.
2. Good fats can aid post-workout recovery. Fats that include an omega-e (found in fatty fish like salmon) can help keep inflammation down.
3. Animal fats can raise the risk of heart disease. Eating more meat and cheese and then drinking a daily cup of bulletproof coffee (coffee laced with a tablespoon of butter and a medium-chain triglyceride oil like palm kernel oil and coconut oil) can raise your LDLs (bad cholesterol). Butter, bacon and fatty red meat are high in saturated fat and can increase your risk of heart disease.
4. Fat loading for ultra-endurance isn’t the end all. The theory that high-fat eating lets you tap into your body’s fat stores for energy, saving carb stores for later or slowing their use during exercise has had mixed results in studies. Endurance and ultra-endurance sports require more than the ability to exercise for hours at a moderate intensity. Athletes still need to kick it in for an uphill stage or sprint to the finish and this depends on the athlete’s ability to work at high intensities, which are in turn fueled by carbohydrate. Since fat adaptation appears to impair this critical ability and does not enhance prolonged endurance exercise, there appears to be no specific support to recommend this dietary strategy.

Remember, focus on the good fats but in moderation.

Source: http://www.racewalking.org/fat_loading_for_endurance_sports.pdf

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