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Misconceptions about Fat

Posted: October 19, 2018

What comes to mind when you think of the nutrient “fat”? For most people, the immediate response is that the word is associated with a negative connotation. They may assume that it will lead to them gaining weight or becoming more sluggish.

However, fat is actually an important macronutrient in the life of the everyday individual, as well as the competitive athlete. It should not be associated with the negative aspects of gaining weight or making someone obese. Fat is a necessary nutrient to include in one’s daily diet. However, there is a difference between healthy fats and unhealthy fats.

Any fats that include “saturated” in the name, are the ones that one ought to avoid eating altogether, if possible. (Monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats are a few examples of that). These are the “bad” or “unhealthy” fats that were referenced earlier and are typically found in processed foods, which are good to avoid anyways. The good fats consist of those found in natural foods such as avocados, nuts, certain natural oils, and more. These are the fats athletes and non-athletes alike should seek to maintain in their diets.

Fat actually has a lot of great benefits in the average person’s diet. It helps to improve brain function/health, joint lubrication and function, and much more, as long as it is in moderation. Without fat in your diet, your body will not function as it was meant to. Furthermore, athletes will struggle to get to their optimal performance. Therefore, fat ought not to be misunderstood and should not be a negative topic when it comes to someone’s diet. In fact, the positives can greatly outweigh the negatives, especially if you stick to eating the healthy fats that were discussed earlier.

 

Taylor Rowden is a Strength Coach at Compete Sports Performance and Rehab in Lake Forest, California. Taylor graduated from the Master's University with a degree in Kiniesiology with an emphasis on sports injury and exercise science. She was also a member of the Women's Soccer Team.