Should you say no to lipids?
With 9 calories per gram, fat’s calorific value is twice as big as proteins’ or carbs’. Should you stop eating lipids to lose some weight ? No you should not, this is a false idea and you’d better select the right lipids. Every sportsman should include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in his diet. They positively affect recovery, especially after intense workouts. As a matter of fact, you should eat at least 1 gram of lipids per kilo of muscle mass every day.
Unintentionally, we eat the major part of our daily fat dose through hidden fat : pastries, processed food, dairy products. A single croissant for breakfast counts 30 grams of fat namely half of our daily needs. You should distrust the so-called low-fat products : they contain less fat but more sugar as well as other ingredients used for creating a consistency similar to the one of classic products. Don’t be afraid of fat : in reasonable quantities it helps weight loss by keeping you filled up and avoiding craving. But that’s not all, lipids have genuine functions in our organism : they are essential in transporting proteins in the blood, they serve as vehicles for A, D, E and K vitamins, they are part of our cell membranes’ structure.
Which are the lipids to favor and those to avoid ?
The omega-3 and omega-6, which are polyunsaturated fatty acids, are the best source of lipids. These fats are essential for our body, that is to say our organism can’t produce nor substitute them. Our body functions best when a particular ratio between omega-3 & 6 is complied with : we eat way too much omega-6 in our western diet so we should increase the portion of omega-3 we eat. Fish, nuts, colza or flaxseed oil have a high omega-3 rate.
Monounsaturated fatty acids that are to be found in olive oil and oleaginous fruit (almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts) are neutral fats. They are a good source of lipids and you can include them in your diet without any problem.
Though trans and saturated fatty acids are to avoid as a general rule. You will mostly find them in processed food and they increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Lipids and sports
It is recommended to reduce fat consumption as much as possible during your last meal or snack before your workout. Indeed, fats stay in your stomach up to 8 hours straight and need a lot of energy while being digested preventing you from giving your best during your training.
What is 25g of lipids equal to ?
- 25g of oil, or two table spoon
- 50g of almonds, or twenty of them
- 50g of dark chocolate 70%
- 75g of cheese
- 30g of butter
- 3 eggs
- 180g of mackerel