Ok, so last Macro Nutrient this week’s Fats.
Fats have definitely had plenty of bad press over the years, and it is not warranted. We shouldn’t avoid eating fats at all, they are vital for a healthy body it’s just about eating the right kind of fats.
Fats are made up of chains of Hydrogen and Carbon called Hydrocarbons. The arrangement of these Hydrocarbons determines the type of fat, which are broken down into 3 categories.
Polyunsaturated Fat. (Further broken down into Omega 3 and Omega 6).
Fat of all 3 types are important to our overall health.
- It is the most energy dense macronutrient (i.e. provides the most energy)
- It aids manufacture and balance of hormones
- Builds and repairs organ cells, the brain and nervous system
- Transport Vitamins namely Fat the soluble Vitamins ADE & K
- It provides the aforementioned Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids that the body cannot make itself.
Most of the bad rap for fats has been aimed at Saturated Fats. However this is slightly unfair and where common sense should apply. In reality people will quite often consume Saturated Fat alongside high sugar intake and refined carbohydrates –think takeaway and doughnuts….
Suddenly Eggs and Steak are getting the blame for health issues such as high cholesterol associated with a high level if saturated fat. In fact foods such as red meat and eggs contain as much and often more monosaturated fats than saturated fats.
As with any part of the diet the devil is in the dose and all 3 kinds of Fats should be consumed but none should be over consumed. If you are eating fresh, whole unprocessed foods as 80% of your diet you probably don’t have anything to worry about with regards to your fat intake.
To ensure you are getting enough healthy fat sources try including these sources into your diet regularly.
- Oily Fish such as Salmon, Mackerel. Try and eat at least one portion a week.
- Nuts & Seeds
- Eggs-particularly the yolks
- Coconut-Coconut Oil has become popular to cook with and add to smoothies and porridge as an easy way to add healthy fat to your diet.
As Equestrians we need high energy levels and good cognitive function –that’s brain power to remember your Dressage Test; a healthy Fat intake can help you with that.
Your homework this week then is to have a look at your Fat intake. If you don’t already try adding one healthy fat portion to your diet every day next week maybe just an egg, some fish or a handful of nuts and see that brain power rocket!