Mini Forklift Ⓥ wrote:
you would get benefits from increasing your healthy fats/EFA's quite a bit higher than 10%
New World Vegan wrote:
I've heard the opposite. I'd like to hear the reasoning to this.
Out of curiosity, where or who have you heard that from
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.
In terms of EFA's being of benefit to athletic performance, good food sources of healthy fats would be things like mixed raw nuts (walnuts, brazil, macadamia are all good), avocado, almond butter, coconut oil etc. 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.
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.