This week, I want to look at the macronutrient (macro) fat. Often misunderstood, fat is a very important macronutrient and especially important for satiety. For many years, fat was villianized and seen as the bane of our nutrition. We would be offered fat free everything and be led to believed that this fat free life = a healthy life. Reality was much more cruel. If you have ever had a hamburger made with 95/5 beef cooked well, you will understand the importance of fat in a recipe. To counter this, food companies would add tons of additives such as sugars, salts and artificial flavorings to overcome the lack of texture from the fat.
Did you know that fat comes in two forms? There is White Adipose Tissue and Brown Adipose Tissue. The white stuff can be bad. White adipose stores energy in large fat droplets around the body, specifically around the organs and the midsection. Too much white fat can create the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other diseases.
Brown adipose tissue or brown fat stores energy in smaller spaces around the neck and shoulders. It is made up of iron rich mitochondria and this is how it gets its color. During a process of thermogenesis, brown fat burns without creating shivering and burns calories. It is regarded highly as a possible treatment for obesity and some metabolic diseases. It is believed that current trends of cryo therapy, ice baths and other cooling devices can stimulate brown fat growth.
The dietary reference intake for lipids in adults is 20-35% of total callories. This equals out to 44 to 77 grams of fa per day. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is rife with bad fat, something known as trans fats. Trans fats are a topic all in themselves and will not be explored in length here. There is an over abudnance of Omega 6 and 9 fatty acids in our SAD diet and a poverty of healthy boosting Omega 3 fatty acids. Choosing a dietary lifestyle such as the Mediterranean diet or components of it will greatly increase overall Omega 3 fatty acids. This dietary approach is rich in fatty fish, nuts such as walnuts and olive oils.
In sum, choosing healthy fats, sticking with whole unprocessed foods and snacks will optimize your health.
This week’s Menu:
Steel cut oats and protein powder
Pan fried boneless skinless chicken thighs and bullet proof coffee
Eggs and toast – 8 oz of egg whites, 1 whole egg, 2 pieces of Ezekiel Bread, 1 T of butter
Chili Mac – something I ate too much of in the Army. This is a bit healthier and lower in carb:
Low Carb Salsa Verde Chicken:
For snacks this week, I am keeping it healhty and light. This is my last full week of off season, I start ramping up for the 2021 racing season with training for a 42 mile Gravel Bike ride in March. I am dealing with some lingering shoulder problems from last season, so I am going to have to induce a forced rest. Snacks this week will be nuts and dark chocolate and cheese.