You are training, therefore you are an “athlete” and you need your body to be at its best. If you are aiming for peak performance be that as a serious athlete or simply a gym bunny you need to take a serious look at the way in which you fuel your body. Despite common misconceptions, fat is not the enemy! In fact, a sufficient intake of quality saturated fats is a critical piece of health and performance oriented nutrition. We all need to stop reading the hype and get over the fat-phobia and realize that saturated fat is in fact essential to your general well-being and health.
The low-fat craze has brainwashed us into thinking saturated fat is the number one weight loss obstacle which when taken to its extreme has come to the severe detriment of peoples health and wellbeing.
I urge everyone to get over these tasteless, vitamin deficient, low fat diets!
The fact is that saturated fat is essential to proper vitamin uptake, liver health, pulmonary health, proper cognitive function, cellular membrane quality, bone strength, immune system health, and many other vital aspects of your health. For more information I recommend all my clients to look at the Weston A. Price Foundation which offers an excellent resource for the truth about fats and nutrition.
Coconut Oil – one of the good guys.
Besides ghee, grass-fed butter, and high quality lard, coconut oil is one of the best options around for good quality saturated fat intake with many health giving properties.
Medium Chain Fatty Acid - coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid. What this means for you is that the body deals with MCFA’s differently than long chain fatty acids. MCFA’s have actually been shown to have a metabolic boosting effect. This is a huge benefit for anyone looking to lose weight, or stay lean. Similarly, coconut oil has also been shown to stimulate the thyroid.
Lauric Acid - coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-bacterial. This is of huge benefit, as many people in the modern world, suffer digestive issues and problems with fungi and parasites as a result of various dietary deficiencies.
High Heat Tolerance - a BIG problem with many vegetable oils is they begin to oxidize and form free-radicals when exposed to high heat (cooking). This is especially true for canola oil, which is composed of one of the worst oils to begin with. People need to consume far less, and preferably NONE, of the omega 6 heavy vegetable oils. When oils are overheated, it alters the structure of the molecules, and they become toxic free-radicals. Free radicals have been shown to be involved in all aspects of cell degradation, mutation, and premature aging. STOP COOKING WITH VEGETABLE OILS, STOP EATING VEGETABLE OILS. Coconut oil is a highly stable fat, even at higher temperatures, so it’s great to cook with.
Source Of ENERGY - fat is one of the best sources of energy. Your body requires saturated fats to maintain optimum levels of health as well as maintaining a fully functioning hormonal system. Also, due to coconut oil being a MCFA, the body deals with these saturated fats in a different manner. It is quickly and efficiently converted into usable energy which is great for some sustained endurance while training.
Vitamins A & D – these two vitamins are critical for a variety of necessary bodily processes. Many unfortunate “low-fat” individuals are lacking these essential nutrients, as they are fat soluble vitamins. These vitamins are required for adrenal hormone creation, maintenance of calcium levels, bone health, mineral absorption, and even some of your steroid hormones. With an increased intake of coconut oil, your body can more readily absorb these nutrients.
I urge you to consider your nutrition as one of the most important aspects in determining your long term health, as well as a critical source of short term energy during workout and recovery.
Saturated fat is a highly important nutrient in your overall diet, and is essential to our healthy development. Our bodies are designed to utilize saturated fat, and require it for optimum function of the many inter-related bodily processes. I urge all my clients to consider and challenge their beliefs about saturated fat, explore the source of those beliefs and spend some time considering the facts to determine if in fact those beliefs are serving you in the best possible way.
Introduce coconut oil into your diet, and reap the previously mentioned benefits. It’s good stuff. Check out the links below for more information.