Understanding Your Macronutrients: Fat

Worried about good fats and bad fats?

Fats are important and can impact your private personal training.

COVAL Fitness - Private Personal Training in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Fat has been trying to outrun the bad rap since the early 80’s when the low-fat diet craze became something that wasn’t recommended to only those with heart disease. It became the new diet fad for everyone, unfortunately.

Still to this day, over 35 years later, fat still catches a bad rap. Although through new studies coming out over the years, and reputable individuals/companies like John Berardi and Precision Nutrition spreading the word about how fats are good for us and how our bodies need them, fat has been able to successfully rebuild its reputation.

In this post we will cover:

  1. What fats are and what function they serve

  2. Healthy fats that you can incorporate into your daily routine

  3. Misconceptions about fats that need to be laid to rest


Fats are the most energy-dense macronutrient that we can ingest. Meaning that for each gram of fat consumed we get the more calories (9 kcal) than any other macronutrient (protein & carbs give us 4 kcal per gram). They are an excellent energy source for low-intensity exercise and when at rest.

Fats are also essential in the sense that they form the tissues of our cells, brain, and nervous system.

They are necessary for transporting vitamins A, D, E, and K. Fats also provide us with the essential fatty acids; omega 3 fatty acids & omega 6 fatty acids.

Probably the thing that we are most conscious of that fats aid in is satiety, or how full we feel after a meal.


Omega 3:  Salmon, Herring, Mackerel, Tuna, Sardines, Perch

Omega 6:  Walnuts, Brazil Nuts
Research has shown that Western society tends to consume too many Omega 6 from foods like vegetable oils, dressings, and fried food which can contribute to chronic disease... bottom line; consume more omegas 3’s 

Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s):  Coconut oil

Saturated:  Butter, Eggs, Red Meat, Dairy

Monounsaturated:  Avocado, Macadamia Nuts, Olives, Olive Oil


Eating Fat Will Make You Fat

In the illustrious words of Dwight Schrute, “false."

Too much fat makes you fat.

Depending on your goals, and other physiological variables such as insulin sensitivity (could determine if fewer carbs and higher fat are better for you) your fat intake should be anywhere between 25-40% of your total caloric intake for the day.

Fat is bad for your health. If you want to be healthy, then you should eat a low-fat diet.

Unless you recently had your gallbladder removed, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. We already established earlier the key roles that fat plays within the body and research has shown diets that are higher in fat and lower in carbohydrates have multiple health benefits that are greater than low fat and higher carbohydrate.

One study found that in a group of severely obese individuals, those who participated in a low-carb/high fat diet versus those who consumed a low fat / high carb diet:

  1. Lost more weight (almost 3x as much as the LF / HC crew)

  2. And had significant improvements in the following blood markers over the LF / HF group; triglycerides, fasting blood glucose, insulin, and insulin sensitivity (Samaha, et al, 2003)

The key word there being significant differences between the two groups.



Don’t shy away from fats.  Eat the right fats (more omega 3’s, less omega 6’s, some saturated, and monounsaturated) and in the right amounts.

Fat isn’t bad and fat doesn’t make you fat.  Too much of the bad fats are bad for your health and too much fat will make you fat.  Select wisely and portion control is key.

Catch you later this week to talk about the new bad boy on the street; CARBS!



If you're struggling with your fitness and looking to energize your exercise and revitalize your diet, Contact Us for your free fitness assessment!

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