BodybuildingPro.com Nutrition Database Nutrition Dictionary: A Comprehensive Source of Nutritional Terms Fat Information Database Fat Information Database
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Fats and the Bodybuilding
Fats, also called lipids, serves five main functions in your
(1) As a large, concentrated energy depot.
(2) To protect your organs.
(3) As insulation.
(4) As solvent for the transport of fat-soluble vitamins.
(5) As supplier of essential fatty acids. The latter is crucial,
because without fat, your body couldn't synthesize enough of
certain hormones, such as testosterone, and the structure of your
cells would be compromised.
* Recommended daily intake for a bodybuilder is no more than
0.46 grams per pound of bodyweight, or 15-20% of overall caloric
This is the major source of dietary and stored, or adipose, fat
and is typically divided into two types:
By itself, glycerol, an alcohol, doesn't constitute a fat because
of its solubility in water. Instead, it tends to take on the
characteristics of a carbohydrate, equaling approximately 4
calories per gram. Many low-carb, low-fat supplement bars use
glycerol as a key ingredient to keep the flavor and
Chemically, these are organic acids composed of carbon acids
composed of carbon atoms with hydrogen molecules attached. The more
hydrogen attachments, the more saturated and solid the fat. Fatty
acids are divided into two types:
Saturated Fatty Acids
Called saturated because they hold as many hydrogen atoms as
chemically possible - Generally, that isn't a good thing. You'll
mainly see these fats in animal products, but some vegetable
sources are also high in saturated fat (for example, palm oil).
Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Unsaturated means that it isn't totally saturated with hydrogen
atoms. These are typically deemed your "good" fats, and should
constitute the greatest percentage of your fat intake. Examples are
monosaturated fatty acid-containing foods such as olive oil and
pecans. Some foods containing polyunsaturated fatty acid (also
known as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) are soy, fish, and corn
oil. Some unsaturated fats, however, can be chemically manipulated
so that they're potentially more harmful to your health than
These are the fats that are critically important for maintaining
cell structure integrity, aid in blood clotting, and facilitate
fatty acid and cholesterol transport and utilization. Possibly the
most important of the phospholipids is lecithin, which is found in
foods such as eggs, liver, soybeans, peanuts and wheat germ.
Besides cholesterol, which is typically thought to be bad for you,
sterols exist in the body to carry out all sorts of important
functions - Sex and metabolic hormones such as testosterone and
cortisol come from sterols, and Vitamin D is considered a
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