As one of the three primary macronutrients, understanding fats can play a significant role in optimising your health and performance.
Despite being the most effective energy source during exercise, carbohydrate metabolism alone cannot sustain long durations of activity. The metabolism of fats is vital for supplementing the energy provided by carbohydrates and becoming the primary energy source when carbohydrate stores are depleted . For this reason, consuming adequate fats in your diet is vital for day-to-day function and both short and lengthy bouts of exercise.
Providing your body with adequate amounts of fat is also critical for the basic function of systems, which has a flow-on effect on your health and performance. As they are required to form membranes, all cells are reliant on fats to survive and function. Hormonal control is also heavily dependent upon fats, which dictates all systems in the body such as growth, repair, sleep, and digestion – the likes of which need to be optimised to perform at your peak .
Understanding the different types of fats and where to source them is of great importance when taking a healthy approach to your diet. Some fats, such as trans fats, in particular, can have significant adverse health implications and should be avoided as much as possible in your diet. Other fats, such as many types of unsaturated fats, have been linked to a wide array of benefits and should be included as part of a healthy, performance-based diet.