- Natalie Gagnon
“I'm trying to trim down, so i'm cutting my fats…”
The number of people who assume fats are bad (period) are usually the ones struggling with body composition issues or weight issues.
There is a miss-conception of fats and not enough education available for people to find out which fats they should be including in their diets.
To stick to the basics, there are three types of fats you should include in your diet; - Saturated - Mono-unsaturated - Poly-unsaturated. I don’t want to say under all circumstances, avoid trans-fats… but seriously, avoid trans-fats!
In short, I can point out a few key factors that including healthy fats in your diet will help with:
- Joint Protection - Cognitive Function - Testosterone Production (in terms of fat loss and muscle gain) - Fat Loss
To keep things basic, let’s cover a little bit of each.
Joint Protection. Healthy fats help you protect your joints, if you cut fat out of your diet then you will potentially run the risk of suffering an injury within the joint, or become vulnerable to increased wear within the area.
Cognitive Function. Hearing people complain of bad focus and cognitive function on a calorie restricted diet is common. Fat plays an important role in helping your mind function properly, without it you’ll start to lose focus. So think of getting in a great workout when your focus is all over the place. Worse, try functioning at work and with your family and friends when you’re moody, irritated and have foggy brain… It impacts everything.
Testosterone Production. This is why I am puzzled when I see or hear of diets that next to eliminate fats. Aside from making people “fear” them; fat is one of the major components in creating natural testosterone within our bodies. Without fats, our body’s natural production will drop. So if you’re a competitor – you might want to question WHY your whole eggs, or oils are being removed in prep because this is especially the case when you're in a calorie deficit. When your testosterone is lowered, you’ll become more vulnerable to catabolism and you could experience some strength loss/muscle loss. There is a right way to diet, and slashing fats to extreme levels isn’t wise.
Fat Loss. Fats can (to a degree) help you lose body fat. If you’re eating high carb AND high fat this won’t be the case, but if your nutrition is planned correctly, fats will be helpful in your fat loss journey. Taking a look at Omega 3 based fats I would point out that their ability to help improve your insulin sensitivity alone should be enough to make you love them! If you can maximize your insulin sensitivity it’ll be one of the best things you can do to optimize fat loss and increase in muscle as well.
So before you toss the yolks or steer clear of the nuts and salmon, think about the benefits of simply including these healthy fats in your diet.