Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Habit 5 : Eat Healthy Fats Daily

In our never ending quest for six packs and size zeroes, we try all manner of fad diets and exercise regimens. Still, each year, in advance of summer, we find ourselves back at square one on our quest for the holy grail of envy inducing long and lean muscles, like that of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master and world grappling champion Kyra Gracie. (pictured below right)

Courtesy : Total Pro Sports
One obvious reason for our failure to keep the weight off and the fat away is that the diets that we choose are not sustainable. Not if you want to have a life and not go crazy with the calorie counting and food restrictions.

One of the great aspects of the 5 Habits is that while we are fundamentally changing how we eat, it is not overly restrictive. We can still enjoy our favorites, such as pasta, breads, and deserts. In fact, we often limit things that should be a bigger part of our diets, like vegetables and fats, which brings us to Habit 5 : Eat Healthy Fats Daily.

Although the optimal fat intake for each of us is 20-40%, 30% is a good target to shoot for. In special cases, this percentage can be lower for a short period of time.

According to Dr. John Berardi of Precision Nutrition, the balance between saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats is more important than total fat intake.

Dr. Berardi points out that while the ratios and percentages could be intimidating, we should instead focus on adding healthy fats of each type to our diet. Some healthy monounsaturated fats are extra virgin olive oil, some nuts, and avocados. Examples of good polyunsaturated fats include some nuts, some vegetable oils, and fish oil supplements. For more detailed information about the types of fats and how to include them in the diet, read "All About Healthy Fats" by Ryan Andrews.

By properly including and balancing healthy fats daily, we can improve our health, body composition, and performance. In short, we will feel, look, and perform better! Just in time for summer!