Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids are a class of polyunsaturated fats that have received a lot of attention in the media recently. They are thought to be cardio-protective and may help prevent a range of other illnesses. There are three types of essential fatty acids - Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9. Omega 3 and Omega 6 must be consumed while the body can produce some Omega 9 on its own. Essential fatty acids are required for healthy cardiovascular, reproductive, immune, and nervous systems. Found in foods like walnuts, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, avocados, some dark leafy green vegetables and oily fish, the typical Western diet is often deficient of essential fatty acids.
Despite its bad press, cholesterol is actually essential for many important bodily functions. There are essentially two types of cholesterol - low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is known as the "bad" cholesterol because it carries and then deposits cholesterol at the artery walls. HDL on the other hand, is known as "good" cholesterol because it acts as a scavenger removing cholesterol from artery walls and transporting it to the liver to be excreted.
Although some foods like cream, butter, ice cream, egg yolks, shellfish and red meats contain cholesterol, it's a high intake of saturated fat that causes the body to synthesize too much cholesterol. The maximum amount of dietary cholesterol recommended each day is 300mg.
That concludes part 2 of this sports nutrition series. Part 3 covers protein and how much the scientific literature says athletes really need. We'll also combine these first three days into a sample eating plan with the right balance of protein, fat and carbohydrate.
ECXELLENT LEARNING MATERIAL CAN BE FOUND AT THE EVERY OTHER DAY DIET GUIDE