The question still remains today do you need fat to build muscle? Nutritionist and dieticians, as well as trainers and body-builders have debated it for decades. Yet the opinions vary and the question is unanswered or answered to many ways.
Are you asking the question based on nutrition or based on transforming the fluffy you by turning you into an Adonis? Are you referring to dietary fat, the fat you get from foods, or body fat, the fat your body uses for energy? Hadn’t thought about it that way before, huh? Yea, turning body fat into muscle or eating fats to help build muscle through your training program.
What is Dietary Fat?
Fats that are found in the foods we eat, either from plants or vegetables and/or animals. It is a macronutrient that provides our bodies with the energy it needs. Believe it or not, fat is actually essential to the proper functions of our bodies. For example some vitamins require fat for our bodies to absorb and process them enabling them to properly nourish us.
The down side of fat is that it is high in calories and a little goes along, or adds up quickly to make us gain weight. Of course, the excess weight brings on a number of potential health issues including Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
There are two types of harmful dietary fat: Saturated Fat and Trans Fat.
Saturated Fat is the type of fat that mostly comes from animal food sources. Full-fat dairy products, poultry, and red meat are the most commonly eaten examples. Saturated Fat is the main and leading cause of diagnosis of high cholesterol.
Trans fat is a naturally occurring fat found in some foods, however most trans fat comes from the oils found in a food preservation method referred to as Hydrogenation. These oils make the food simpler to cook and last longer without spoiling. These trans fats are also linked to an increase and higher levels of cholesterol related health problems including cardiovascular disease.
There are some healthy forms of dietary fat, these are Monounsaturated Fat, Polyunsaturated Fat, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
Monounsaturated Fat is found in foods and oils. This type of healthy fat has been shown to help lower the level of cholesterol and therefore the health related issues that accompany high cholesterol.
Polyunsaturated Fat is mostly found in plant based foods and oils. This type of fat has been shown to also help lower the risk of heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are proven to help lower the risk of coronary artery disease. You can find Omega-3 Fatty Acids are most usually found in fish.
What is Body Fat?
There are two categories of body fat, essential fat and storage fat.
Essential Fat is necessary for us to live normally with healthy life functions. The necessary amount of Essential Fat in men is about 3% of their total body weight and it is about 12% in women. The difference has more to do with the reproductive system and its organs than anything else.
Storage Fat is the accumulated fat under your skin throughout your body and in your muscles. This type of fat includes the deeper fat that is used to help protect your internal organs from injury and damage. Men and women have similar levels of storage fat.
Now that you know what Fat really is, we must ask our original question again.
Do You Need Fat to Build Muscle?
Yes and no.
You need the dietary fat to give you the nutrients and energy for exercise to build the body of muscle you desire. This energy will help you to lose the storage fat that you don’t need and become a leaner, fitter you, while building the strength in your muscle systems. Contrary to popular belief this is not turning fat into muscle.
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