by Tony Gjokaj June 02, 2020 3 min read

There is no best diet... there's only the diet that works best for you.

If you've been actively reading our articles, you know that I personally have tried many diets. Some worked, while others didn't.

It was not until I started following specific guidelines and branching out from them that I found the diet that worked best for me.

My goal with each one of these articles is to give you scientific recommendations that you may use as a baseline. This will allow you to make the best decisions for you.

Today, we are going to be covering Dietary Fats, the types of fats, and recommendations for consuming fats.

Let's dive in!

About Dietary Fats

Just like Carbohydrates, fats are feared by some. The truth is fats are an essential macronutrient for a reason: they provide us energy and cell growth. 

Fats are also important to absorb vitamins and other nutrients. This is why multivitamins are recommended to take with a meal.

Lastly, dietary fats protect our organs, produce hormones, keep our body warm, and more.

With that, we wanted to educate you on the types of dietary fat. This will allow you to make better choices when deciding on what foods to eat.

Dietary Fat Types

Trans-Fats

Trans-fats are almost-solid fats that are a result of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Some processed foods typically contain trans-fats to extend their shelf life.

According to a 2009 review, trans-fats cause various problems to our overall health and our body. They promote inflammation, and even a little bit of consumption has some correlation to heart disease.

We should consume zero trans-fats because our bodies cannot handle them. While most food in stores has eliminated trans-fats, we recommend always looking at the nutrition facts label.

Saturated Fats

Saturated Fats are the next form of almost-solid fats that actually have various forms of controversy around them. Some say they're bad, and some say they are good... so what's really the truth behind them?

When it comes to saturated fats, the effects they give us revolve around our diet and lifestyle choices: someone who makes healthier choices may not have any negative effect on saturated fats. On the other hand, someone who is inactive and doesn't consume healthy choices most of the time will encounter problems with saturated fats.

This is due to the fact that saturated fatsare oxidized fat that builds up plaque.  Individuals who frequently exercise and eat fruits & vegetables achieve a proper anti-oxidant intake, which assists in "neutralizing" saturated fat.

Even so, it's important to note that you should always consume saturated fats in moderation. We should prioritize polyunsaturated & monounsaturated fats for their various health reasons.

Polyunsaturated Fats

Polyunsaturated fats are made up of Omega-3's and Omega-6's. It is found in foods like salmon, oils, nuts, and seeds. Polyunsaturated fats help reduce your LDL or bad cholesterol levels. Lower LDL levels reduces the risk of having heart disease.

If you read our article on fish oil, you would know that we typically consume a lot of omega-6's in the average American diet. Essentially, it would be beneficial to reduce omega-6 intake and increase omega-3's in your diet. This is typically executed with fish oil.

Monounsaturated Fats

Monounsaturated fats are oleic acids that are found in various high-fat foods. These fats are typically found in eggs, meat, olive oil, and more.

Like polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats reduce LDL or bad cholesterol levels. In addition, they help will cell development.

Dietary Fat Recommendations

When it comes to dietary fats, here are a few guidelines that are easy to implement:

  • Before choosing a specific diet, 20-30% of total calories should come from fats. If you prefer a ketogenic diet, fats will be higher.
  • At most, 10% of your fats should be Saturated. Eat them in moderation, despite if you live an active lifestyle.
  • Avoid Trans-Fats entirely.
  • Attempt to get eat less Omega-6's, and more Omega-3's. Prioritize fish oil and fish over red meat.
  • Snack with nuts and seeds. While these foods have higher caloric content, they're better than sugary alternatives with the same amount of calories.

For portion control methods, read the following:

  • If using a method like Precision Nutrition's, a thumb-size serving of oil is recommended for all meals (except post-workout).
  • If consuming salmon as a protein source, you may disregard the thumb-size of olive oil.
  • If consuming nuts or seeds, you may do 1/2-1 handful.

 Reforge Yourself

In reading this article, I hope you understand that these recommendations may just be starting points for you. You personally may need more depending on your preferred diet or lifestyle.

Reforged Legion, thank you for reading!

Until next time!

    Tony Gjokaj
    Tony Gjokaj

    Tony is the Owner of Reforged Performance Nutrition. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help bridge the gap between physical & mental health through fitness.



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