Commonly, fats are not very well seen in the daily diet. We have associated these nutrients with the idea of obesity and cardiovascular disease. However, it is worth talking about saturated and unsaturated fats, as one of them is essential in the diet of an athlete.
Differences between saturated and unsaturated fats
As we have been saying, we have traditionally associated fats with the idea of an unhealthy diet. However, not all fats are harmful. What’s more, they are necessary according to the type of diet we want to carry out, such as sports.
There is currently no clear consensus. Experts find no obvious evidence to say that saturated fats are harmful. Studies that have investigated the consumption of saturated and unsaturated fats show that the population with bad habits has less tolerated these types of nutrients. On the other hand, the sample with people who follow a healthy lifestyle, have not suffered any type of damage after ingesting saturated fat.
After these studies it is proven that people who are athletes or with healthy habits are not harmed by the intake of this type of fats. However, it is worth recommending their moderate consumption, as it is the only way that they do not cause any type of damage. They can even be part of an athlete’s eating plan.
Have you heard of trans fats? These are unsaturated fats or hydrogenated fats, and they harm our body because a hydrogen molecule is added to make the oils more solid. This process is what influences us to increase our “bad” cholesterol, cause diabetes or increase our risk of having a heart attack.
This type of fat, therefore, should not be part of our diet, even if we practice sports. Therefore, it is important to avoid industrial pastries, fried foods and processed foods.
The role of healthy fats in sports nutrition
When doing sports, our body needs a greater source of energy. It must withstand a greater effort, so that our body needs food that provides it with enough “gasoline” to avoid being overloaded.
A good source of energy is foods with good or saturated fats. The first thing that our body burns when starting up are sugars, later, fats. That is why it is important to have a good fat reserve. Otherwise, the body would extract the energy it needs from its own muscle tissue. For this reason, experts recommend controlling fat consumption, since it is a way to protect the muscle.