PDA

View Full Version : What is the nutritional function of fat?



DokterVet
09-18-2006, 12:15 PM
In other words, what does your body do with fat that you consume?

Your average person's nutritional knowledge says that eating fat makes you fat, and eating less fat makes you less fat.

Now I know that this is not true. I know that excess calories make you fat and caloric deficit makes you less fat.

However, after correcting someone for calling peanut butter "fattening" (I told her it's not "fattening," but is a source of fat. Eating too much of anything is fattening), I realized that I don't really know what function eating fat actually serves.

Will eating less fat make you less fat? I know Built reccomends 0.5 g of fat per lb of LBM / day for cutting, which is not a low fat diet at all. Why then do we hear so much about low fat foods and diets? Is it simply fear of the word "fat"? Another case of misinformation? How and why do bodybuilders need more or less fat than regular people? Or atheletes?

Anthony
09-18-2006, 12:24 PM
Dietary fat supports a lot of very important functions in the body.

- proper hormone production.
- absorbtion of certain vitamins.
- cell membrane integrity.

Etc.

The 0.5g per pound comes from studies that show this is ideal for proper hormone production (if I remember correctly). The low-fat fad is going out of style, now everyone is on the low-carb fad. Both produce results because people eat less calories overall when they eliminate certain foods from their diet. The problem is they never learn proper eating habits and as soon as they return to old habits, the weight comes back.

Sidior
09-18-2006, 12:26 PM
Low fat diets stem from the fact fat contains more cals per gram than protein or carbs. Cut all fats out and most likely you will be in a calorie deficit which will lead to weight loss. I will let some more knowledgeable members answer your other questions.

Built
09-18-2006, 12:29 PM
Will eating less fat make you less fat?


Only if it means you eat fewer calories. But this is true for any of the macronutients.



I know Built reccomends 0.5 g of fat per lb of LBM / day for cutting, which is not a low fat diet at all.


I suggest a minimum of 0.5 g fat per pound LBM for everyone (bulking, cutting, whatever) based on this:


Dorgan J, et al. Effects of dietary fat and fiber on plasma and urine androgens and estrogens in men: a controlled feeding study. Am J Clin Nutr 64(6): 850-855. 1996

It actually CAN be "low fat": if your maintenance is 3000 calories a day and you have 150 lbs of lean mass, then a diet where 0.5g/lb LBM is fat works out to 75g - only 22.5% of your daily calories. But if you drop to 2000 calories a day, this 75g becomes a higher percentage of total calories - 34%.

Anchoring fat and protein grams to LBM makes better sense for BB because we deliberately manipulate our calories depending on whether we're cutting, bulking or maintaining.



Why then do we hear so much about low fat foods and diets?

Probably because it's the easiest way for people to think about lowering their calories. It's flawed, since it often means they load up on sugar-laden crap that makes them hungry, but that's a whole 'nother ball game.

DokterVet
09-18-2006, 12:40 PM
Ok, let me see if I understand this:

Arbitrarily reducing fat is only valuable for fat loss insofar as it tends to result in consumption of fewer calories due to the calorie-dense nature of fat.

In other words, low fat diets act as shortcuts to reducing calories without requiring the dedication and careful tracking of a bodybuilder's diet.

There is no reason for a bodybuilder to arbitrarily eat low fat foods (unless those foods help him to reach his daily calorie and macronutrient requirements).

Is that about right?

Built
09-18-2006, 12:45 PM
Ok, let me see if I understand this:

Arbitrarily reducing fat is only valuable for fat loss insofar as it tends to result in consumption of fewer calories due to the calorie-dense nature of fat.

If it works to reduce calories, yes. When I do it, I OVEREAT.


In other words, low fat diets act as shortcuts to reducing calories without requiring the dedication and careful tracking of a bodybuilder's diet.

Again, if you can manage it without overeating carbs and protein. Fat or not, they're still calories.


There is no reason for a bodybuilder to arbitrarily eat low fat foods (unless those foods help him to reach his daily calorie and macronutrient requirements).

We need low-fat foods for post workout. Otherwise, no reason, correct.

ViciousBish
09-18-2006, 12:46 PM
Just wanted to say that this is a great topic, DokterVet. Hope the discussion stays up. My ears are peeled!

Anthony
09-18-2006, 12:51 PM
Yes.

But I think people are going to be more accepting of eating fat if you tell them what it does and why they need it instead of talking about calories.

Eating "low" fat is not an option if health is a concern.

DokterVet
09-18-2006, 12:57 PM
If it works to reduce calories, yes. When I do it, I OVEREAT.

Again, if you can manage it without overeating carbs and protein. Fat or not, they're still calories.



Ok, so it's not even a particularly good shortcut? Is reccomending a "low fat diet" the dietary equivalent of reccomending leg raises to tone lower abs (ie total nonesense)?



We need low-fat foods for post workout. Otherwise, no reason, correct.

What is the function of low-fat food post-workout?

Anthony
09-18-2006, 01:03 PM
Ok, so it's not even a particularly good shortcut? Is reccomending a "low fat diet" the dietary equivalent of reccomending leg raises to tone lower abs (ie total nonesense)?
Fat is ESSENTIAL to life. It's not "sorta need it" or "maybe if I have enough calories to fit it in" ... if you had zero fat in your diet, you'd eventually get very sick and probably die.

That's why it's stupid to recommend "low" fat diets. Keep in mind that low is a subjective term and sometimes people say "low" and still meet minimum requirements.


What is the function of low-fat food post-workout?
Post workout your body wants protein and carbs asap. Fat interfers with the absorption rate.

DokterVet
09-18-2006, 01:09 PM
Cool, thanks Anothony.

Unreal
09-18-2006, 01:35 PM
John Berardi has tons of great articles on his site, including several on fat.

http://www.johnberardi.com/articles/nutrition/f_word.htm
http://www.johnberardi.com/articles/nutrition/fatroundtable.htm
http://www.johnberardi.com/articles/nutrition/fatroundtable2.htm

If you want to waste some time, and get tons of good info, just start reading all his stuff. Tons of good stuff on that site.

RedSpikeyThing
09-18-2006, 01:48 PM
If you want to waste some time

It's never a waste of time to read anything by John Berardi.

BTW this is a great thread. Does anyone know of any resources on how the body metabolizes fat? I'm talking fairly simple because my biology background is limited to grade 12, about 4 years ago.