Why Fat is Important and Daily Fat Intake
Ever heard of the French paradox? Or associated it with daily fat intake for that matter?
It is mind-boggling to some why people are getting more obese, but as you have seen this really isn’t that confusing. We just have been going after the wrong culprits. It is becoming more and more evident that fat really is PHAT.
Fat is very easy to forget as we have seen. You have to get it in. There are no exceptions.
Let me remind you why it is important so you don’t forget and then let’s talk about how much you should eat.
Why Fat Shines
We mentioned a ton of benefits throughout this process on why fat is very healthy for you and doesn’t come with the baggage that it has been saddled with for the past 40 years.
Essential fatty acids are as effective as any drug or supplement you can take to help with energy or weight loss. Since most fat is naturally occurring it improves your overall energy for those CrossFit or P90X workouts. This also means a snowballing effect of looking great in the mirror by shedding pounds of fat.
Essential fats slow down carbs being released into the bloodstream, which helps to prevent blood sugar spiking. Insulin levels are often spiked by carbs like grains, potatoes, and sugars. This insulin sensitivity leads to you getting that pudgy gut and eventually a stroke or a heart attack.
Now at the same time fat is important for your brain, central nervous system and red blood cells to get the glucose to run properly. Fat can provide that energy along with tempered carbs like vegetables. This gets you the energy you need without the blood sugar spikes. Your exercises get better because fat also helps with joint pain and oxygen transfer.
It gets better. Fat also prevents against hormonal food cravings or binge eating. Fat does a great job of releasing a hormone called PYY, which tells you that you are full. This works hand in hand with another satiating hormone like leptin. This means belts can fit again, more energy for that marathon you are training for, and more confidence whether in your work environment or out on a date.
The biggest reason why Fat is PHAT is because of what it means to your life:
- You can see your kids grow up, mature, and get married.
- You can have more courage through life challenges like a terrible accident, divorced parents, abuse, and other horrible events.
- You can buy those clothes you wish you could fit into.
- There is no more feeling like a slab of meat and being embarrassed to be around people.
- You can have that full night sleep with no mid-day crashes.
It is hard to imagine these little fatty acids can do that, but it plays such a large role in not just how we look, but how we feel. That is what matters the most. It all circles back to one major thing: a better life.
So let’s give Fat a break. Maybe say hi and tell Fat he is looking good today when you see him walk by. All he wants is for you to have a great life.
How Should be My Daily Fat Intake?
So what is the recommended daily fat intake? The recommended daily fat intake can actually vary and should based on your goals and how much energy it gives your body. It should be at least 15-20% of your daily calories should come from unsaturated fat. Anything under 10% is unacceptable. It sends your body into starvation mode just like eating too little calories. The daily fat intake for women should percentage wise should be similar to the daily fat intake for men.
There is really no “normal daily fat intake”. Many people can get away with a ton of fat in their diet. Many societies and tribes are fine with an average daily fat intake of 50-60% fat, without seeing any risk for cardiovascular or heart problems. Some ketogenic diets can go as high as 75-80% for total daily fat intake. These are often used in an initial phase to help children with epilepsy.
I don’t expect you to measure. That is like step 10 in fat loss. Focus more on the right foods and majority of the time you can get to your goals without all of the tedious counting.
Your daily fat intake guidelines should be more focused on the type of fats and not how much. You want to make sure that a lot of this fat is coming from high protein content like animal meats like that juicy steak, pork tenderloin, or grass-fed chicken eggs that are rich in omega-3. Also oils like palm, sunflower, coconut, and olive. Again you want grass-fed animal protein to get a proper balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
If you are ever concerned about not getting enough fat, one of the “Canaries in the Coal Mine” is by having dry and flaky skin.
Great sources for essential fatty acids include either 1 tablespoon of flax oil or Udo’s Choice Oil Blend daily. Udo’s Choice Oil Blend has the same effect as a multivitamin. It helps you to get a lot of the necessary essential fatty acids without all of the guess work. If you are living in grandma’s basement and separating your two ply toilet paper to save money, then I would run down to Costco and get the Kirkland Signature Omega-3 Fish Oil or whatever wholesale store that is close to you that sells Kirkland’s fish oil.
So now you know what the deal is with fat. Get it in often through animal protein and the oils we talked about. It can be the difference between hitting and being a couple feet away from your ultimate goals.