I really don't believe that fat is the enemy, as long as you are consuming the right types. You need to be taking in decent levels of omega 3's on a daily basis ~ you only have to start doing a little research into longevity and you'll start to realise the importance of 'good fats' in your diet.SO WHY SHOULD YOU CONSIDER RAISING YOUR EFA'S/FAT INTAKE?
First and foremost health is probably the main thing, and diet-wise ideally you want to be eating a variety of foods that are higher in monounsaturated & polyunsaturated fats. Researchers and scientists are repeatedly finding that the countries/people with the lowest recorded incidence of cardiovascular disease also have a very high, regular intake of omega 3 fatty acids (and other healthy EFA components such as HUFA's MUFA's, PUFA's, arachidonic acid etc). MUFAs can be of benefit to insulin levels and blood sugar control and PUFAs (found mostly in plant-based foods and oils) can help decrease the risk of Type II diabetes as well as reducing LDL whilst raising HDL cholesterol.The Okinawans and Inuit's for example have been shown to have an average Omega 3 intake of around 17,000mg/day and their race has virtually NO cholesterol, heart or CV problems. These types of ethicities have zero/very minimal elevations in cardiac inflammatory biomarkers and this is shown again and again in studies.
Chia seeds are also something I like to add in to my diet as they are rich in omega content (mainly a-linolenic acid, also known as ALA). They're also a great source of antioxidants and contains a variety of amino acids, plus their mucilage is effective at cleaning and detoxifying the intestines as well as being a reasonably effective appetite curber. If you buy a good chia then it should be gluten free and shelf stable for years due to it containing Cinnamic acids that help guard the omega oils from oxidation. Another bonus is that it has a positive effect on blood sugar levels, which is great for athletes as blood sugar levels can fluctuate a lot as the duration of the exercise increases. Other good food sources of healthy fats that may benefit your performance are mixed raw nuts (walnuts, brazil, macadamia are all good), avocado, rice bran oil, almond butter, coconut oil etc. Ideally, you want to be eating a variety of foods that are higher in monounsaturated & polyunsaturated fats. MUFAs can be of benefit to insulin levels and blood sugar control and PUFAs (found mostly in plant-based foods and oils) may help decrease the risk of Type II diabetes as well as reducing LDL whilst raising HDL cholesterol. If you are looking to consume Omega 3 through diet alone you need to make sure you are eating raw; cooking denatures the Omega 3 as well as reducing the levels of DHA.
So to summarise, raising your intake of EFA's (especially omega 3) will offer anti-inflammatory benefits as well as reducing CV risk factors as I mentioned above. I would be careful on increasing the intake of omega 6 as this is pro-inflammatory due to the fact that it increases the production of inflammatory chemicals known as eicosanoids; also worth noting that a rise in omega 6 intake will decrease omega 3 levels. Another bonus is that supplemental EFA’s have been shown to stimulate muscle protein synthesis in older adults OMEGA 3 SUPPLEMENTATION IN RELATION TO SYMPOMATIC PRESENCEDOSE:
General health ~ 1,000-2,000mg
Moderate disease/stress ~ 3,000-4,000mg
Mood/behaviour/cognition ~ 5,000mg
Severe disease/stress ~ 6,000mg+
Bipolar disorder ~ 9,600mg (optimal dosage according to studies)
We know from studies that it’s great for improving membrane fluidity, is the brains fat of choice for both function and structure and it holds significant merit for reducing post workout inflammation/DOMS.References:
** (1) Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Muscle Protein Synthesis: NCT00794079