Getting enough of the good fats will help you lose fat, build muscle, and recover faster from your workouts. In addition, it has myriad health benefits, including being good for your heart.
Good fats include: polyunsaturated (especially Omega-3's), such as those from fish and nuts, as well as monosaturated fats, such as those from peanut butter, olive oil, egg yolks, and fish oil.
Bad fats include saturated fats from things such as animal and coconut fats. Then there is the worst kind of fat the man made kind, trans fatty acids which can be found in our typical, of no redeeming value, junk foods such cookies, chips, fries and margarine.
Limit, if not stay completely away from, the bad fats and try to get about 30 - 35% of your calories from the good fats.
"Studies show that higher-fat diets make more sense for fit people than low-fat diets," says Liz Applegate, Ph.D., author of Encyclopedia of Sports & Fitness Nutrition. "In one study, endurance athletes ran up to 24 percent longer before they fatigued when they ate a diet that was above 30 percent fat compared to one that was below 20 percent," she says.
More importantly to most readers of this newsletter, researchers are now beginning to realize the fact that a nutrition plan high in the good fats helps the body to burn fat. Omega-3 fatty acids increase the size of your cells' fuel-burning furnaces so your metabolic rate rises and you burn more calories every minute of every day.
Omega-3's also help your body's sensitivity to insulin. This helps your body store less fat. In addition, the fat you do store is more readily and easily converted into energy and burned during activity.
This keeps your blood sugar levels stable and keeps you away from those famed sugar crashes and cravings and irritable mood swings.
Another important exercise effect is that Omega-3's also help your body produce testosterone, the hormone responsible for building new muscle. The late Dan Duchaine has called the essential fatty acids the most anabolic legal food supplement one can take to build muscle.
Of course, more muscle equals more calorie burning equals less body fat.
Fat can also help you recover from your workouts. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble and are very important antioxidants in the muscle-building, bone-repairing category.
As I mentioned above, fat also helps your heart. Omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats help lower bad LDL cholesterol and help prevent blood clots, making your heart able to do it's job with less stress.
Making sure you get a proper supply of the good fats will go a long way toward a healthy life and the fit, strong, toned body that you want.