Fat_Sources in Your Sports Nutrition Plan

In your sports nutrition plan, the fat_sources (amount and type) you eat is an important consideration.

  • Are all fat sources whole foods?

  • Vegetable oils (plant oils) are extracted from whole foods. Oil is liquid fat. Other fats can be found in whole foods such as nuts and seeds, milk products, and meat proteins, olives and avocadoes. Processed dressings, spreads and condiments are not whole foods.

  • Am I getting enough fat?

  • The new pyramid suggests limiting “added” fat to 5-6 teaspoons everyday, depending on your calorie needs.

  • What is a serving size of fat?

  • A serving of added fat is one teaspoon of oil, 2 Tablespoons (Tbsp) oil-based salad dressing, or 1 Tbsp trans-fat free margarine. A serving of these fats provides approximately 15 grams of fat per serving. A low-fat food is one that contain less than 3 grams of total fat per serving.

  • What do I look for on a food label?

  • When choosing foods with fat content in mind, there are a number of things to look for. If you look at this food label, the product contains a total of 12 grams of fat per serving, and 110 of its 250 calories comes from fat. The different types of fat are important to pay attention to as well. Saturated fat is similar to trans fat because it clogs our arteries and increases our risk for disease. Try to eat foods with little to none of these types of fats. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are those derived from plants that are better for you. Cholesterol is a substance that our bodies need but which we make enough of on our own outside of food sources. Many animal products contain cholesterol, so try to limit your intake of such foods with a cholesterol content greater than 30mg.

    It is also important to look at the ingredients list when detecting "hidden fats." For example, this food product contains egg white solids, cream, cheeses, butter, and partially hydrogenated soybean oil. All of these ingredients add to the fat content, while the partially hydrogenated soybean oil adds to the trans fat content. When choosing foods, it is always best to purchase those with a short ingredient list. Less ingredients means less processing the food you eat undergoes!

  • How will fat impact my training?

  • Both food fat and body fat can impact your training. Learn more about fat.

  • How will fat impact my lifetime fitness?

  • Fat is high calorie fuel in a small package. Too much fat (even the healthy plant fats and oils) can easily lead to weight gain which puts you at risk for diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer. Remember, plant fats favor good health, while animal fats may be linked to poor health. Avoid trans fats (check food labels), as they may lower your good HDL cholesterol and raise your risky LDL cholesterol. Omega-3 fats from fish, walnuts and ground flax seed should be included in your everyday sports nutrition plan, since these types of fats have been associated with decreased inflammation (which could be good for heart health and arthritis control).

    Time to set a food fat goal as part of your sports nutrition plan! A great place to start is by adjusting the amount of fat or switching to healthier fats.

    Return to whole foods in sports nutrition for other fat_sources.