Sunday, 8 June 2008

The Importance of Essential Fats

Many people get confused when it comes to looking at fats in their diet, they think that there are no essential fats as its fat and will make you put on weight around the waist.

The truth is that there are different types of fats, some of these fats are only used as fuel and are not needed in your diet but there are also important essential fats that your body needs.

Essential fats are actually called EPA's or Essential Fatty Acids. These essential fatty acids make up important parts of the biological process within the human body yet cannot be constructed by the body so have to be obtained by our diet.

The essential fatty acids that you need in your body are called Monounsaturated fat and Polyunsaturated fat (collectively called Trans fats). To obtain the correct amount of these essential fatty acids you need to take in an estimated 15ml per 25kg (55lbs) you weigh.

Looking further in to essential fatty acids from a science point of view you will understand that trans fats can be broken down further in to Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 fatty acids.

Dietary requirements show that the best ratio of taking Omega fatty acids is 50% Omega 3, 25% Omega 6 and 25% Omega 9 fatty acids although this ratio is not easily obtained on a daily basis unless really scrutinising your diet.

Below is a list of foods that you can gain your essential fatty acids from

* Fish (Tuna, Herring, Mackerel among others)
* Cereal
* Whole grain wheat
* Nuts (Peanuts, Walnuts, and other nuts)
* Oils (Olive oil, Sunflower oil and Safflower oil)
* Bananas
* Seed (Hemp seed and Flax seed among others)

So what does fatty acids actually do for my body and training regime?

* Enhance stamina by between 40% and 60%
* Improve muscular development
* Allow more frequent training
* Speed recovery from exhaustion
* Speed healing due to injuries
* Improve sleep
* Improve concentration
* Improve skin condition


Ensure that you are taking essential fatty acids in to your diet and that they make up 20% of your total calorific intake so you can maximise your gains.