Bicycling (South Africa) - - Stories -

Fat is fuel. You need it to re­pair cell mem­branes, main­tain healthy im­mu­nity, and reg­u­late hor­mone lev­els. And eat­ing enough of it will help make you fast. ¶ How much is enough? For­get the stan­dard rule that 20 per cent of your kilo­joules should come from fat. That’s a min­i­mum. Re­search shows that ath­letes who eat di­ets higher in fat, around 30+ per cent (about 70 grams in an 8 400-kilo­joule-a-day diet), pro­duce greater av­er­age times to ex­haus­tion in ex­er­cise tests than those eat­ing a low-fat, high-carb diet. ¶ And the fit­ter you are, the bet­ter you be­come at burn­ing fat. So if long rides are part of your usual reper­toire, you can push your fat in­take up to 35, even 40 per cent. ¶ The eas­i­est way for most cy­clists to get the fat they need is sim­ply to not avoid it, since it’s nat­u­rally found in so many foods we eat daily. But while you prob­a­bly get enough to­tal fat in your diet al­ready, some types are health­ier than oth­ers. Ex­perts rec­om­mend get­ting about 20 per cent of your fat from healthy mo­noun­sat­u­rated and polyun­sat­u­rated fats. Sources in­clude fatty fish such as sal­mon and tuna, as well as av­o­cado, nuts, plant oils, olives, and even grass-fed beef.

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