For some reason, people don’t seem to ever live in the middle land when it comes to dietary fat consumption: We’re either hella low fat (30-50g), or riding the Keto train into the sunset. Howwwww about we do neither?
Cholesterol is a precursor for sex hormone production and regulation. As a male, drop fats too low for too long and don’t be surprised if your morning wood disappears & sex drive throws up the deuces. As a female, chronically live sub 40 or sub 50g of fat and it’s not uncommon for menstrual cycle to either go berserk or poof all together.
Your daily boner and monthly menstrual cycle are actually fantastic feedback on how you’re doing “under the hood” and a pretty good indicator of your overall health. If either scenario aren’t good, it is indeed your body trying to scream a message for you to pay attention and make changes.
That being said, more is not necessarily better and too much fat may slow down digestion and or negatively impact things too. Ever put peanut butter in a bowl, tried to rinse it out, and the peanut butter was like “lol, NOPE!” – Same thing happens in our GI. We want enough dietary fats to ‘grease the groove’ and keep digestion moving, but too much and we risk constipation, bloating, and excess hormones (like estrogen) being reabsorbed rather than excreted.
Nuts and nut butters tend to cause GI distress, so we’re not huge fans. Fats should primarily be filled by the good stuff, like high quality fatty meats, whole eggs, avocados, and olive oil.
Your nutrition should have periodization and scheduling, so fat intake should adjust accordingly throughout the course of the year. If you enjoy modalities like CrossFit, Spin Class, Orange Theory, etc – You likely want to keep carbohydrates as high as possible to keep performance and recovery high, so fats may be taken down TEMPORARILY to create a caloric deficit during a fat loss phase. It’s okay to go lower-fat for short time periods, but we can’t diet perpetually. So it’s important to reverse back to maintenance calories and higher fats after 4-12 weeks of cranking on body comp too.
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