The right sources of fats for athletes

sources of saturated and unsaturated fats

Both animal foods and plant foods contain both saturated and unsaturated fats. But in animal food, saturated fatty acids most often predominate, and unsaturated ones dominate in plant food.

The sources of unsaturated fat

Vegetable oils are the main source of unsaturated fats. In addition, nuts, olives, and avocados contain a large amount of unsaturated fats. Nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios are rich in polyunsaturated (PUFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). From PUFA, nuts are mainly rich in omega-6. Olives and avocados are rich in MUFA, which is omega-9.

vegetable oils

Vegetable oils consist of 2 components: the oil itself (fatty acids) and impurities (fat-soluble vitamins A, E, D, K, macro and micro nutrients).

An important point. There is no vegetable oil with cholesterol, since cholesterol is animal fat, and it cannot be in vegetable oil. Therefore, if someone will convince you otherwise, do not believe them.

Vegetable oils are:

1) Refined oils are oils with no impurities. Refined oil is better suited for frying dishes, since it contains no impurities, which means that such oils contain less carcinogens that are formed when impurities are burned. That is, refined oils contain exclusively fatty acids, without vitamins, macro and micro nutrients, but this does not in any way affect the absorption of fatty acids by the body.

2) Unrefined oils are oils that have impurities. Unrefined oil is better suited for consumption in its raw form, since in addition to fatty acids, you will also receive fat-soluble vitamins, micro and macro nutrients. It is impossible to fry in such oil, precisely because it contains impurities.

The more different vegetable oils you have in a diet, the more chances that you will meet the body’s fatty acid needs. The best in composition and the content of micro and macro nutrients are unrefined linseed oil and grape seed oil.

The sources of saturated fat

At the moment, people are consuming huge amounts of saturated fat. In buns, sweets, cookies, cakes, etc. But these products contain substandard saturated fats, most often trans fats or palm oil (saturated fat, but vegetable in origin). All this leads to the lack of the right saturated fat in the human body.


1) Animal fats (lard). This includes various types of lard such as lard, badger fat, whale oil, shark oil, etc.

2) Dairy products (butter). This includes the actual butter. You should choose butter very carefully, because very often you can find fakes on store windows called margarine. There are many ways to determine the difference between real butter and fake butter, but the ones available in the store are just to look at the label, composition, and expiration date. On real butter, you should see the word butter.

Also, the fatter the oil, the better, the less impurities, stabilizers and preservatives it will contain. Choose butter with a minimum of 82.5% fat content and you should also see that this butter contains milk and cream. In addition, the shelf life of real butter cannot exceed 3 months. If the shelf life is longer, then it is either butter with a lot of additives, or margarine.

Fish and fish oil

Fish (fish oil) is the source of both saturated and unsaturated fats. Fish oil is animal oil in origin, but it contains many unsaturated fatty acids, like vegetable fats. Fish oil consists of fat (fatty acids) and impurities (fat-soluble vitamins A, E, D, K, micro and macro nutrients). Fish oil is high in omega-3 and omega-6 fats. These fatty acids are essential in the human body (like essential amino acids). The body is not able to synthesize them on its own, so they must be supplied with food every day.


Omega-3 fatty acids include linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are extremely beneficial for the heart, brain and central nervous system. In addition, omega-3 acids are part of cell membranes, therefore, when building muscles, they are a building material, along with protein (amino acids). Also, the use of DHA reduces the deposition of fat and improves fat burning by 15%. EPA and DHA are almost impossible to obtain from vegetable fats besides seaweed and kelp. But getting these products that have preserved omega-3 acids is now quite problematic. Therefore, despite all the rumors, it is impossible to replace fish oil with linseed oil. But if you use them together, then it will be very correct.

Omega-6 fatty acids include linoleic acid, arachidonic acid. Omega-6 fats can be easily obtained from any vegetable oil.

How to choose fish oil correctly

It is preferable to choose fish oil obtained from fish meat rather than from the liver. This is because the liver accumulates various toxic impurities. If fish oil is produced from the liver, then the nutrition facts will show this. Cod Liver Oil must be written in the nutrition facts. Fish oil produced from fish meat will be called Fish Oil. This should also be displayed on the package.

It is also desirable that the fish from which the fat will be produced would be high-quality, for example, salmon. Such fish will contain more valuable and important for the body fatty acids such as EPA and DHA. Make sure to check the fish oil, it should not taste bitter and nauseous. If you buy fish oil in capsules, then cut the capsule and make sure to taste and smell the content.

Video about the sources of saturated and unsaturated fats

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