Dietary fats are very essential macronutrients required by the body for the various function and they are vital in the provision of energy for the body and keep the body warm. Dietary fats are widely recommended in sports nutrition through the number of fats taken must not be too much because of having various shortcomings in the health of a person.
What are Dietary Fats?
To answer this question fully there is a need to first clearly know that fats are of vital help and the body of a person can’t function optimally with its absence.
Dietary fats are fats and oils usually in plant foods as well as in animal and also it also encompasses also those found in cooking food and also those added to processed foods.
Further, it is very essential to note that dietary fats are made up of building blocks known as fatty acids and are of two types that are saturated and unsaturated.
Types of Dietary Fats
They are of various types as briefly discussed below:
Saturated fats: are mostly found in foods such as milk and milk products such as cream and also in red meats. They are found in large amounts in animal-based foods. Under this type of fats, we have a special type known as Trans fats which are found naturally in meat and milk products and the industry made ones found in hydrogenated oil.
Unsaturated fats: They are of two major types i.e. monounsaturated and polyunsaturated
Monounsaturated fats are found in plant foods such as avocados, peanuts as well as in oils such as sunflower, canola, and olive. Polyunsaturated are those that are mostly found in seeds of plants such as flax, hemp, and chia as well as in walnuts, oily fishes, for instance, the salmon and herring.
Benefits of Dietary Fats
Dietary fats are of great value to the body especially in sports nutrition because of the outlined benefits below:
- Helpful in weight loss; it well understood that in most sports overweight is greatly unfriendly that it is vital for a sportsman to accommodate great amounts of monosaturated fats in his sports nutrition program although it is essential to note that it works effectively if accompanied by fewer calories intake.
- Fats especially the unsaturated one’s studies have shown that they help reduce the risk of the factors which lead to heart disease since they help in reducing the blood cholesterol levels and triglycerides.
- Reduction of cancer risk; several studies have found out that the intake of fats reduces certain cancer risks such as prostate and breast cancer. For instance, in Spain, very few women are found to have breast cancer a factor that is supported due to for instance due to the availability of olive oil in the country among other factors. This makes women incorporate dietary fats in sports nutrition thus they can perform effectively in various fields such as football.
- Nevertheless, it is evident that monounsaturated fats help improve the sensitivity of insulin in the bodies of people who have or don’t have high blood sugar. This vital point to note especially when dealing with sports nutrition as the body of the sportsperson can function correctly as the blood sugar levels are effectively regulated.
- Assist in the reduction of chronic diseases attributed due to the consumption of western diets and high-saturated diets by reducing inflammation through consuming high amounts of unsaturated fats.
Importance of Dietary Fats for Sports Nutrition
Fats are very vital in the body just as carbohydrates and proteins are required in sports nutrition. For the effective function of the body, it is necessary for the body to be supplied with the essential fatty acids. The following are the usefulness of dietary fats:
- Provision of the extra energy especially during a long term or vigorous exercises as carbohydrates in sports nutrition has been found to only provide energy on a short term basis.
- Useful in inflammation; it is no secret that exercise leads to muscle damage thus fatty acids such as the omega -3 are responsible for regulating inflammation in the body thus enhancing improve exercise recovery as found out by various researchers.
- Dietary fats are a great source of food required by the body for effective functioning. The famous omega -3 fats are found in foods such as walnuts, soybeans, and tofu as well as in fishes, for example, the salmon. Athletes are encouraged to take more of the omega -3 fats than omega -6 for healthy sports living.
- Production of hormones needed by the body for various functions such as controlling the various body biochemical reactions, recovery to infections, enhancing growth and development as well as general body health.
Although the body requires fats to function properly only healthy amounts are encouraged while saturated and Tran’s fats are highly discouraged due to the various reasons such as:
- Exposing the body to heart diseases due to having high LDL cholesterol levels which usually build up in coronary arteries thus inhibiting the supply of oxygen.
- Tran’s fats lead to excessive weight gain as it redistributes fat tissue in the body abdomen.
- Fat leads to the development of diabetes as glucose is stuck in the waist and abdomen thus make a person to be insulin –resistant.
- Regular consumption of trans and saturated fats often on regular basis research suggests leads to the development of cancers such as that of the colon, rectum, and prostate.
In conclusion, it is identified that dietary fats are of various types such as the saturated, Trans, unsaturated fats. The saturated and trans fats are of great risk to the health of a person hence should be carefully handled during sports nutrition as they can lead to various health risks for instance cancers and chronic diseases. Nevertheless, if dietary fats are taken in the right way they are of great importance to the health of a sportsperson as the disadvantages can be minimized and advantages improved.
Health is the first step towards success.