When it comes to nutrition, fats get a bad rap (it’s been said that eating fat won’t make you fat any more than eating money will make you rich). Additionally, a fat-deficient diet can lead to nutrient deficiencies (especially for athletes).
Fat serves many functions in the body, including:
- Necessary for insulation and protection of internal organs
- Hormonal regulation
- Carries fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K
- Necessary for formation of healthy cell membranes
- Proper development and functioning of brain and nervous system
- Promotes feeling of satiety (fullness) following a meal
- Source of long-term (stored) energy
It is recommended that athletes get 20% of their total calories (or 2/3 of the total fat intake) from healthy — monounsaturated or polyunsaturated — fats, and limit saturated fats to no more than 10% of their total calories (1/3 of total fat intake).
Healthy fat sources include avocado; fish (especially cold-water fish like salmon); almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and cashews; olive oil; coconut and coconut oil; Seeds; olives; peanut butter and other nut butters; low-fat dairy (milk, Greek yogurt, etc.).
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