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Fats: Good Fats vs. Bad Fats

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

The two elemental fuels for muscle metabolism are carbohydrate and fat. The body can only store a finite level of carbohydrate, and this limitation requires a regular intake; however, the body can store an infinite amount of fat.

Measuring the type and volume fat within foods that form part of a balanced diet is fundamental to ensure that the correct types of fat at the correct levels support the training and competition requirements for strength-based sports and in particular weight lifters. A high level of their inclusion and subsequent consumption was significantly higher than that of a conventional adult’s diet (Zello, 2006). These constituted of food high in saturated fat. The cause was diet plans loaded with meat to enhance a high protein intake in their diet (Burke et al., 2011).

Elite athletes are required to train and exert their bodies and particularly their muscles to high-intensity stress. A common failing is gaining the correct amount of sleep and adequate rest between training sessions or events. Weightlifters to maintain weight and avoid fats and correct nutritional intake (Burke et al., 2011). The impact of a reduction in macro-and micro-nutrient may result in a suppressed immune system. The research demonstrated that athletes, on average consume about 25% fewer calories than their required levels of usage, leading to low intakes of some essential micronutrients and fats. High-intensity training identifies this increases inflammatory, oxidant stress and decrease anti-inflammatory immunity (Burke et al., 2011). Athletes produce more reactive oxygen-radicals than do non-athletes, exposing them to increased oxidative stress.

When identifying a diet plan, the takeaway notes must be inclusive of days and periods where inclusion of foods rich in unsaturated fats for strength athletes to build and achieve their energy needs to balance lower energy density foods in the diet plan. This can also indicate as cheat days; however, it is essential to understand not to overindulge as that will start to affect performance within the weight room.


Burke, L.M., Hawley, J.A., Wong, S.H.S. and Jeukendrup, A.E. (2011). Carbohydrates for training and competition. [online] Journal of Sports Sciences. Available at:

Zello, G.A. (2006). Dietary Reference Intakes for the macronutrients and energy: considerations for physical activity. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 31(1), p.74–79.

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