Saturated Fat And Common Sense
An extremely hot topic in bodybuilding in the last few years is saturated fat. Yes, the medical establishment was probably incorrect in portraying saturated fat as vein clogging, heart attack causing evil but that doesn’t mean you can chow down on cheese burgers, pizza, whole eggs and peanut butter sandwiches either. As with many things in life, moderation is the key!
Lets start with the basics. Decide on your macronutrient ratios. For most bodybuilders, they will choose about 20% of their calories from fat. For an average intermediate bodybuilder, thats about 500 fat calories a day or 56 grams.
Now lets decide how we should allocate that 56 grams of fat per day. First of all, your fats should be from unprocessed, natural sources. Skip anything with “hydrogenated” in the name because it came out of a factory. In my opinion your #1 priority should be getting your EFAs. Lets start with 6oz of salmon. #2 priority is what used to be called “good fats”, avocados, olives, and nuts. #3 is naturally occurring saturated fats. Lets look at what in my view is a good fat allocation for an average bodybuilder:
18g fat – 6 ounces salmon
10g fat – 1/2 avocado
14g fat – 1 ounce peanuts
14g fat – 2 whole organic eggs
I get really tired of hearing these folks rant about how saturated fat is good for you. No, saturated fat is not as terrible as we were told BUT, its not that great either! Bodybuilding is all about nutrition and making every calorie count. Many bodybuilders have used this news that saturated fat is not “that bad” as license to eat crud, not so! If you use all your fat allotment for saturated fat then you have none left for the really important fats like your essential fatty acids! And if you go over your macro fat percentage then you have to cut back on vital complex carbs or protein. You MUST make every gram of fat count and live within your designated fat macros! Lets look at how easy it is to blow your fat allotment with careless eating:
60g fat – 3 slices pizza
66g fat – 2 big macs
65g fat – 1/2 cup peanut butter
Eating any one of the above would completely use up your fat budget without allowing you to eat any of the other vital fats. So there you have it, stop looking for excuses to eat cheese, bacon and big macs! Just because recent research has exonerated saturated fats somewhat doesn’t mean you can chow them down! If you want to maximize your gains you need to make sure that every calorie counts. By the way, I do realize that peanut butter is not saturated fat but am using that to show how easy it is to go over your fat budget if you are not careful.