Fats 101


Fats are typically found in animal and vegetable tissue and come in two basic forms: saturated and unsaturated. The saturated fats (which generally come from animal meats) are solid at room temperature while the oils (derived from plants) are liquid.

Saturated “The Not-So-Good”

Saturated fats are generally considered to be the “unhealthy” fats. While your consumption of saturated fats should be fairly limited, they do offer certain benefits such as their mood-enhancing effect and their ability to improve brain and nervous system function.

Saturated fats also play an important role in the production and maintenance of testosterone. Although they do have certain benefits, saturated fats can have a fairly significant negative effect on heart health and cholesterol levels. All in all you should try to limit your intake of saturated fats and instead focus on unsaturated fats, otherwise known as the “good” fats.

Unsaturated “The Good”

Unsaturated fats are derived from sources such as fatty fish (like salmon), dark leafy vegetables, nuts, avocados, seeds and liquids such as flaxseed oil and olive oil.

They are a great source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which play many important roles in muscle building and in overall health. They help to lower bad cholesterol levels and play an important role in proper brain and central nervous system function.

In addition, unsaturated fats regulate blood pressure, fight inflammation and also help to maintain the strength of the immune system. The reason they are referred to as being “essential” is because our bodies cannot produce them on their own and therefore they must be consumed through our diets.

EFAs & The Benefits!

How are essential fatty acids beneficial to those trying to build muscle? Well, how about this:
1) Increase testosterone production: testosterone is the most important muscle-building hormone in your body.
2) Increase growth hormone secretion: another very important anabolic hormone.
3) Improve insulin action: this will drive higher amounts of muscle-building nutrients into your cells.
4) Improve energy production of cells: this will give you more energy and strength in the gym.
5) Increase nitrogen retention: since protein is the only macromolecule that contains nitrogen and since muscles are a major storage area for protein, increased nitrogen retention indicates an increase in lean muscle mass.
6) Improve metabolism: this will result in lower gains in body fat.

So there you have it! Be sure to monitor your amounts of saturated fats consumed and have the majority of your fats come from unsaturated sources such as fish oils, flax seed oils and extra virgin olive oils through diet and supplementation!

I hope this helped you out, as always feel free to click ‘LIKE’ and leave a comment or question below!