Shudder to think? No, no mistake has been made. This discussion is on eating high quality fats and not avoiding it. In common parlance today, the very mention of fat has become such an untouchable pariah! But, the fact remains that fat is an essential component to sustain the metabolic functions of human and even some animal bodies. What is necessary however is that one should know the facts about fat and choose the type of fats that are beneficial and discard those that can potentially deliver harm either in the short or long run.
Understanding fatLet us examine the various types of fat before attempting a judgement on what is good and what is bad fat. For the purpose of this discussion, we will look at three broad classifications of fat.
- Saturated fat
- Hydrogenated fat
- Unsaturated fat
Saturated fatMost food from animals and certain plants contain saturated fat. Beef, veal, beef fat, pork, lamb, poultry fat, cream, milk, butter, cheese and a range of diary products derived from whole milk as well as 2 percent milk. Other carriers of saturated fat can be coconut, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, palm oil (also known as tropical oils) and butter obtained from cocoa. Fat from this stream has been held responsible for causing high blood cholesterol from dietary causes. While some fat are indeed essential for the human body, high levels of blood cholesterol does not merit any leniency, because high blood cholesterol has been singled out as a primary cause for a number of coronary dysfunctions and often leading to heart attacks.
Hydrogenated fatHere is the major culprit. Hydrogenation is a chemical process wherein manufacturers of vegetable oils add hydrogen to the oil. Not because it is good for you, but because it enhances the shelf life of the product and increases the flavour stability of food which contain these fats. Remember the deep fried finger chips? There are no labelling regulations for fast foods – as yet. Take a look at the saturated fat percentages mentioned in the label giving you the nutrition facts.
Unsaturated fat (Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated)Fish, seeds, nuts, and oils from certain plants contain unsaturated fats. Salmon, avocados, herring, olives, trout, walnuts, sunflower oil, saa flower oil, soybean etc. contain unsaturated fats in good measure.
Food with quality fat
Beef holds special favor with muscle builders for its high quality protein content and the low fat level. Eggs work as a power food to build muscles. The egg whites have no fat while the yolk is rich in cholesterol. The fat provided is omega 3, a good fat. Chicken/turkey is an excellent source to provide protein while being low in fat, though some parts of the chicken do carry high fat. Fish, particularly the lobster, mullet, haddock etc. too work well with muscle building. Tuna fish is also another convenient choice. Finally, soy and milk. Although liquid food, they are rich in protein and in combination with meat, compliment amino acids obtained from meat.
Ideally, all your meals should have protein in it and should be evenly spread out across the day. About 3 grams of protein for every kilogram of your body weight will contribute to positive balancing of nitrogen. This will optimize the results particularly in combination with passionate weight training.