When building muscle is the goal, most athletes try to eliminate their fat intake. Fat is not “bad” but an important part of everyone’s nutritional needs. Despite the fact that fat is high in calories, there are many health benefits that come from them. In proper balance and moderation, they will aid you in your training regimen and get you stronger, more defined and keep you healthy.
1. Energy during Exercise
Twenty minutes into a workout and it feels like you hit a wall. Energy levels drop and so does your performance. By adding a small amount of fat to your pre-workout protein shake, when the carbohydrates run out at the twenty minute mark, the body can then start to burn the fat.
The carb crash causes an increase of insulin in the blood stream followed by a rapid decrease in blood sugar when the carbs are all used up. When fat burns, the body does not release extra insulin and give you a sustained level of energy.
Both men and women each have certain amounts of both testosterone and estrogen in their bodies. The cholesterol found in saturated fats produces hormones. Not only does the saturated fat help produce hormones, it helps to balance them or to raise the testosterone levels. An increase in testosterone helps to build muscles. With more muscle mass the body burns more fat.
3. Improve Vitamin and Supplement Absorption
There are two kinds of vitamins: water soluble and fat soluble. Fat soluble vitamins, like vitamin A, D, E, and K, needs some fat so that it can absorb into the body and moved to where they are needed.
Simplistically, these, and other fat soluble vitamins, are responsible for:
- Vitamin A helps with vision.
- Vitamin D pairs with calcium for bone strength.
- Vitamin E aids the immune system.
- Vitamin K is responsible for blood clotting.
Without some fat in our diet, the nutrients are simply eliminated from our body as a waste product and our carefully calculated dietary requirements would be out of balance and those vitamins literally go down the drain.
4. Gut Health
In some animal fats, there is an acid called butyrate. Butyrate helps the cells in the lower GI system, specifically the colon, healthy. Without it, they cells will die, but with it, it protects the cells from self-destruction and aids in the production of probiotics. Additionally, the butyrate can play a part in protecting against colon cancer.