Fats? In a vegetarian bodybuilding diet? Yes, you read that correctly. Fats play a big role in bodybuilding, whether it is a vegan bodybuilding, vegetarian bodybuilding or any other type of bodybuilding diet.
These days, people are getting obsessed with the low-fat options of their favorite foods because low-fat equals to guilt-free. But is low-fat really low-fat? Some of these “low-fat” foods include fat-free candies, low-fat ice cream, cookies, cakes, and potato chips! Do any of these sound ‘healthy’ to you? Obviously not. However, think olives, avocados, soy milk, nuts, tofu, etc. Do they sound like they are ‘healthy’? What do you think is healthier, nuts or a bag of potato chips? Common sense is all it takes!
Big companies have brainwashed our minds with baseless-mindless “knowledge” about bad carbs and low-fat, high-fat theories. These are nothing more than marketing strategies to sell their products and increase the sales by some percentage.
What you need to know is there are good fats and there are bad fats. Generally, good is what comes naturally and bad is what is processed/packaged. So, you see we are not really selling you any particular product. Your body NEEDS fats but just the ones that are beneficial to you, the others are not recommended. There are 4 types of fats:
Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated are good for your body and also for muscle building. They are excellent for getting the right fats from a vegetarian bodybuilding diet. If you want to build muscles as a vegetarian, you must consume the right fats and using the right cooking oil is the first step towards starting off.
Olive oil, soya bean oil and canola oil are great for bodybuilders. Fat is essential for the proper distribution of vitamins A, D, E, and K, helps promote better eyesight, and healthy looking skin. Instead of taking in the wrong fats, try consuming fats in the healthy and natural form such as tofu, soy milk, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds, ALL types of nuts (natural, not salted) and dry fruits, avocados and olives.
Depending on your total calorie intake, 50 to 80 grams of polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat is beneficial for your training, and your general health. Saturated fats and trans-fats are known as bad fats. This is because consuming them increases your risk of developing heart ailments and increases your cholesterol.
Saturated fats- the fat you will find in a stick of butter, bacon, or a bag of chips, (sad face allowed here) should be limited to about 20 grams per day. These fats include food items such as red meat, chicken with skin, butter, cheese, ice cream, pastries, chips, candies and fried foods.
If you are not sure whether it is a good fat or bad fat, there is one general rule of thumb that will almost always work as a part of your vegetarian bodybuilding diet. Ask yourself: Is it processed/man- made? If no, is it vegetarian? If yes, then the fats in it will be almost always good fats! Remember, fat is a good thing, and very necessary in bodybuilding and strength training.