This week the ADOFitness trainers will be addressing some of the most common things we get asked about. Coach Joey explains how fat intake is vital for hormonal health, brain function and more.

Fats are one of our primary energy sources and an essential nutrient for our bodies. Fats do a lot for us in terms of our overall heath. They help aid in weight management, absorbing nutrients, supporting our immune function, regulating body temperature, as well as brain function and hormonal balance.

I am going to touch base on a few thing that healthy fats provide us and that I am often asked a lot by clients. First and foremost is hormonal balance. Clients will often tell me that they haven’t had their cycle in months or sometimes years. Due to being on extreme diets from either their own judgment of thinking fat is something that needs to be avoided to see results or someone coming off of a prep from a coach that had them eating very minimal to almost no fat at all in their diet.

Eating enough fats is one of the MOST important things you can do to balance out your hormones naturally. Many don’t know or realize that certain fats, including cholesterol act as antioxidants and precursors to brain molecules and transmitters, which is very important for our overall health. When you are on a low fat diet you risk missed cycles that can lead to infertility. Some hormones that get affected the most by a low fat intake is testosterone, estrogen and Vitamin D. Yes vitamin D is a vitamin but our bodies utilize it more like a hormone then actually a vitamin.

The next thing I want to discuss is our brain function. I have had clients tell me during their preps with former coaches or diets that they have experimented with that they feel “off” or can’t really think clearly. Almost like their brain is “foggy”. This doesn’t surprise me if you are eating a very low fat diet when the brain is made up of fat and requires a steady stream of fatty acids to perform optimally. Believe it or not, cholesterol levels being very low can be often worse at times then having high cholesterol due to the role of it helping the brains function of neurons and neurotransmitters. In laymen terms that is basically saying fat is needed for your brain to have help you think more clearly, have abstract reasoning, attention/concentration, executive functioning along with word fluency.

Their are many more areas of concern when someone’s diet is lacking in fat. Some include heart health, having a higher risk of insulin resistance which can lead to diabetes, gut related problems and even can cause you to have a higher risk of anxiety and depression.

Some healthy saturated fats to consider including into your diet are plant based vegetable oils like sunflower oil, salmon, nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds and avocado. Unhealthy saturated fats that should not be consumed in excess include french fries, fatty meats and foods that are packaged like chips or cookies.

As you can see fat isn’t such a bad thing after all. Everyone is different in terms of what their fat intake should be. Which is why you should do your research and also consider hiring a coach to help you reach your goals and get to a fat intake that is going to work for your body.