Saturated Fat And Common Sense.

Saturated Fat And Common Sense

An extremely hot topic in bodybuilding in the last few years is saturated fat. Yes, the medical establishment was probably incorrect in portraying saturated fat as vein clogging, heart attack causing evil but that doesn’t mean you can chow down on cheese burgers, pizza, whole eggs and peanut butter sandwiches either. As with many things in life, moderation is the key!

Lets start with the basics. Decide on your macronutrient ratios. For most bodybuilders, they will choose about 20% of their calories from fat. For an average intermediate bodybuilder, thats about 500 fat calories a day or 56 grams.

Now lets decide how we should allocate that 56 grams of fat per day. First of all, your fats should be from unprocessed, natural sources.  Skip anything with “hydrogenated” in the name because it came out of a factory.  In my opinion your #1 priority should be getting your EFAs. Lets start with 6oz of salmon. #2 priority is what used to be called “good fats”, avocados, olives, and nuts. #3 is naturally occurring saturated fats. Lets look at what in my view is a good fat allocation for an average bodybuilder:

18g fat – 6 ounces salmon
10g fat – 1/2 avocado
14g fat – 1 ounce peanuts
14g fat – 2 whole organic eggs
56g fat

I get really tired of hearing these folks rant about how saturated fat is good for you. No, saturated fat is not as terrible as we were told BUT, its not that great either! Bodybuilding is all about nutrition and making every calorie count. Many bodybuilders have used this news that saturated fat is not “that bad” as license to eat crud, not so! If you use all your fat allotment for saturated fat then you have none left for the really important fats like your essential fatty acids! And if you go over your macro fat percentage then you have to cut back on vital complex carbs or protein. You MUST make every gram of fat count and live within your designated fat macros! Lets look at how easy it is to blow your fat allotment with careless eating:

60g fat – 3 slices pizza
66g fat – 2 big macs
65g fat – 1/2 cup peanut butter

Eating any one of the above would completely use up your fat budget without allowing you to eat any of the other vital fats. So there you have it, stop looking for excuses to eat cheese, bacon and big macs! Just because recent research has exonerated saturated fats somewhat doesn’t mean you can chow them down! If you want to maximize your gains you need to make sure that every calorie counts.  By the way, I do realize that peanut butter is not saturated fat but am using that to show how easy it is to go over your fat budget if you are not careful.

Alles Klar??



32 thoughts on “Saturated Fat And Common Sense.”

  1. There is actually a lot of research on fat intake and testosterone with fairly interesting results. The TLDR is that polyunsaturated fat had no impact, saturated fat increased it the most, and monounsaturated the second most. Ideally you would be eating less polyunsaturated (fish oil being an exception) and more saturated/monounsaturated for testosterone production.

  2. Yesterday I had a pizza with buffalo mozzarella. Yum!! and at the end of the day I was at 66g fat, 156g carbs and 143g protein. I can’t see how that pizza was such a sin.

  3. Does the higher proportion of palmitic and palmitoleic acids from DNL have medical significance, or would an equally high level of other SFA/MUFA fats be as bad?

  4. Jonathan Spenader

    I will say as far as saturated fat goes, its virtually in any food you eat and I would say I watch my fat intake like a hawk and it doesn’t influence my blood pressure at all, as long as I don’t take too much. But your right about the grossly disproportionate amount of unhealthy fat the United States puts in its food. For example, I drink organic soy milk and it does have saturated fat but also a good mix of the UN-saturated fats. Its all about balance, but preferably more of the good fats.

  5. Scooby, I really respect you but when it comes to diet I think you miss the boat for the most part. On the other hand you’re got the body I want. I think that you’ll find in the very neat future that’s saturated fat is very healthy (not trans-fats) . Much of the foods you recommend have too many carbs and that’s where the main problem is. Have you ever had your A1C checked ?
    I hope you do some more exercise videos soon, they’re excellent !

    1. I fail to see the relevance in having a hemoglobin A1C blood test. He outlines what he eats, when he eats, and just look at his physique?! Doubt he struggles with Diabetes. Please explain and reference current medical literature or study (not wiki or WebMd). I try and stay current my practice but admit there is tons of published research floating around yet to be confirmed. Cheers.
      Novice Bodybuilder

  6. I would stay away from your last example too. That pizza and burgers is all trash fat from mass fed animals.
    Choose your source t be NATURAL and you are fine. Remember, humans are supposed to have a mixed diet since ever we evolved.

    Even from a holistic approach they are saying that saturated fats are fine. Mix your diet with saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. The important part is the source we are getting our foods from and how they are extracted. It should be as natural as possible. Stay away from processed and/or chemically extracted oils. Those are trash. It falls under your own basic rule: Eat as little processed food as possible.

  7. We make saturated fat, so you really don’t need it at all. Same goes for cholesterol. The opinions on Sat fat are very different. Paleo followers think you must eat all you can. Medical experts say avoid it as much as possible.

    1. I’d just like to say, as a “medical expert”, that we don’t all agree on the saturated fat avoidance policy- that’s far more government’s message (at least here in the UK).

      To be completely honest many doctors don’t know much at all about diet, it’s too vast a subject, and from my experience the ones who repeat the “sat fat and cholesterol is bad” message as dogma are the ones who have done the least research.

      One thing I’ll say with certainty though, I’d be far more worried by somebody having high or erratic sugar intake as opposed to high fat or cholesterol intake (as long as they’re avoiding trans fats)… and you’ve got to eat something for energy!

  8. nice read! but don’t be to strict, because that’S what happened to me. I only ate unsaturated fat and avoided everything which contains saturated fat. Now I’m getting a couple of eggs or a glass of unskimmed milk a week, which is like you told okay. moderation is the key!

  9. Can'tcrownmeclown

    Don’t even gonna read this scooby. In common sense you know those fats are put in or on the things and as good as the natural one’s. I pillowed screamed by reading the topic and seeing the following words pop up. Isn’t as terrible as we were told. This is the popularity of lobbying. Anyway I’m a free person too and I lobby in my private life too. saturated fat = not done in bodybuidling.

    1. Er, what about coconut oil? Extremely high in saturated fat. What about 100% organic/natural cheese? Saturated fat. There are loads of examples (see: paleo articles, not that I agree with their diet in general). Saturated fat can be in natural food…

  10. Thanks Scooby, I have a brighter Idea of my calorie intake now because sometimes I find myself becoming an eating machine.
    An example of what Saturated fats is:

    Years ago a good friend of mine told me this ” What is saturated fat?, for example…..This towel is SATURATED with Water.” Keyword saturated. Till this day I still take this quote into consideration.

    1. HE did include them ” what in my view is a good fat allocation for an average bodybuilder:
      18g fat – 6 ounces salmon
      10g fat – 1/2 avocado
      14g fat – 1 ounce peanuts
      14g fat – 2 whole organic eggs
      56g fat

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