Fat: Friend or Foe?
Fat IS needed in the body; however, you just don’t need as much of it as carbohydrate or protein because it is more calorie dense (has more calories per gram). Fat slows down digestion more than any other nutrient; thus you want to consume small amounts of fat often throughout the day. Examples would be peanut butter on a bagel, cheese on a sandwich, olive oil on vegetables, or avocado in a wrap.
Too much fat in the diet can cause numerous health problems including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and extra body fat storage. Yes, even for high school & college students! If your body gets more fat than it needs, it stores it as triglyceride in adipose (fat) tissue.
In regards to exercise, you DO NOT want to consume large amounts of fat pre, during or post exercise because it will slow how fast carbohydrate gets to your blood. During exercise we want carbohydrate and protein to be able to get to the muscle quickly and fat inhibits that process. So eat lower fat items right around exercise.
Fuel during exercise
Transports & stores fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E, K Cushions internal organs
Helps regulate body temperature / provides insulation Supplies essential fatty acids
Types of Fats
• “Bad” or saturated: fats that contribute to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, & body fat
• “Good” or unsaturated: fats that aid in good blood health (omega 3 & omega 6 fatty acids)
How much should be in your diet?
< 30% of total calories; with <10% coming from saturated “bad” fat
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Good Fats: Best Choices
• Nuts, seeds, peanut butter • Flaxseed, flaxseed oil
• Olive oil
• Omega 3’s from fish (salmon)
• 1 Tbs. peanut butter
• 2 Tbs. avocado
• 1 Tbs. dressing, sour cream,
mayonnaise, cream sauce
Bad Fats: Limit in Diet
• Fried foods
• Pastries & dessert foods
• Creamy sauces / dressings • Regular sour cream, cream cheese, mayonnaise
• 1-2 Tbs. chopped nuts
• 1 Tbs. olive oil / other oil • 2 Tbs. light dressing, sour
cream, mayonnaise, cream sauce
Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD is a registered dietitian for Ben Hogan Sports Medicine and serves as the sports dietitian for the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, FC Soccer Dallas, Jim McClean Golf School, Texas Christian University Athletics, and University of Texas at Arlington Athletics. In addition, she is an adjunct professor and dietetic intern preceptor for Texas Woman’s University, Texas Christian University and the University of Texas at Arlington and is a state media representative for the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. . She received her Bachelor of Science degree in speech communications from Texas Christian University and Masters in Exercise and Sports Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University.