What is dietary fat? Why is fat essential to optimal health?

dietary fat

Table of Contents

You’ve made your way to the third and last segment of this chapter, congratulations! By now, you should have your daily caloric requirements, ideal protein intake and ideal carb intake. However, to calculate your daily carb intake, we must first calculate your ideal daily fat intake. You will learn how to do this in this section. So far, we agree that eating an adequate amount of protein is mandatory for optimal muscle building endeavors, fat loss maximization and health improvement. We also agree that carbs do not make you fat, but it’s excess calories that do. So, what about dietary fat?

One silly myth that is finally starting to vanish from the fitness scene is that fat makes you fat! As if I eat 10 oz. of almonds right now, I will gain 10 oz. of fat! No, just no! Eating fat does NOT make you fat. As usual, a caloric surplus is what causes anyone to gain fat/weight. However, fat is a little trickier.

Dietary fat is the most calorie dense macronutrient. Thus, eating too much fat can cause the calories to rack up very quickly and put you in a caloric surplus. Only then you would gain weight. But fat in and itself will not cause weight gain.

On the contrary, dietary fat is essential to human health and will help you build more muscle, maximize fat loss and improve your health. That is, if you eat the right types of fat. We have healthy fats and unhealthy fats.

Types of dietary fat

We have 4 main types of dietary fat:

Saturated fats (have been the center of controversy recently).
Trans fats (pure trash! Think of this type of fat as consuming poison).

Monounsaturated Fats (Excellent).

Polyunsaturated Fats (Also excellent).

Most of those types are good for your health and should be eaten on a daily basis to improve your health. And some, or in my opinion, one of those should be completely avoided if possible.

Let’s start with the good types of fat: Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help you build muscle and lose fat



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