Successful macro and calorie tracking requires the correct food supply to achieve success. However, many athletes get stuck not knowing what foods they should be eating to help them fuel for sporting success. Dietary fats are essential for health and function - which is why athletes need to eat enough fats in their diet to perform at the optimal level.
In this blog post, you will learn about the main fat food sources I personally use on a regular basis to help me hit my fat requirements and achieve nutrition success so I can perform better and live healthily. This will teach you about food choices you can start incorporating in your life to be more consistent with your nutrition plan - and hit yo fat needs!
The truth is that without having the right food on hand, following a nutrition plan becomes a lot harder. That is why I've decided to write a series of posts to show you the foods I use to personally hit my macros.
This week it's about fats so I'm going to show you the high fat foods that I personally use to help me fuel for success - in life, gym, and basketball. However, first let me give you a disclaimer. You don't have to eat the exact same things as me. You have your own nutrition plan so this is all just to give you some ideas and give you some direction.
No matter what level of sport you are in - whether you are competitive or more recreational such as a weekend warrior - fats are important for recovery, health, absorption of key nutrients, and hormone function. In fact, there is a minimum dietary fat requirement each individual athlete needs to eat.
So without further ado, let's show you my favourite fat food sources….
1. Peanut Butter
Probably the MAIN staple for dietary fats in my diet right now is that ol peanut butter! I just love this stuff and I eat it almost daily. I’ll have it in sandwiches, in my porridge, and sometimes I'll eat it by the spoon. Peanut butter is seen by many as “unhealthy” but the reality is actually the opposite. It is very much a health food as it’s made from nuts which are a great source of healthy unsaturated fats - key dietary fats for health and functionality for the athlete.
Also, keep in mind that if you don’t like peanut butter you can also just have almond butter or cashew butter as it’s all the same level of nutrition. So choose your favourite and do a Weird Al Jankovic and “JUST EAT IT!”.
2. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Everyone should have a bottle of extra virgin olive oil in their house. Do you? If not, then after this blog go to the shops and buy a bottle. My most commonly used oil is extra virgin olive oil as it’s one of the healthiest and most stable oils you can use. Extra virgin olive oil contains plenty of monounsaturated fats which are very good for you and if you get a good quality one, you also get the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that it provides.
However, keep in mind this does not mean you can’t use other oils. Of course, certain oils work better than olive oil for certain culinary uses. However, introduce some extra virgin olive oil in your life and help yourself become a healthier athlete.
Certain fish contain very healthy essential dietary fats called omega-3’s. These are essential because the body needs it in food as it doesn’t make it in the body. And my two favourite ways to get this omega 3 in my own diet and for my athletes is salmon and sardines. Salmon is my favourite but you can’t beat the affordability and accessibility of sardines as a regular omega 3 powered snack. Not only are these foods a great fat source, they also provide a good dose of high quality protein so it hits two birds with one stone (CLICK HERE to read about my protein food staples).
So if you want to level up your nutrition, consider adding in a tin of sardines as a snack or having a salmon meal a few times a week. You’ll be boosting your omega 3 intake which is key for health and recovery - with anti-inflammatory effects every athlete can benefit from. If you don’t like fish, speak to your doctor about the suitability of starting a fish oil supplement. However, getting it from food will always win.
Now we get to the humble egg - the powerhouse of protein and nutrients. However, eggs also contain fats which is why people are scared to eat them and avoid them. Well I want to change your mind about that because eggs contain a number of benefits. While the fat in most eggs is predominantly saturated fats (which aren’t great), the amount you get is minimal compared to the other nutrients eggs provide.
In the dieting world, many fear the yolk and instead just eat the egg whites. I understand why this is done and the desire to cut calories but I want to challenge this a bit. Instead of cutting out egg yolks entirely, athletes could still eat a yolk or two and bulk up the rest of the meal with egg whites. This way you get a good combo of protein, fats, and maintain your calorie control. So yeah there is nothing wrong with eating more egg whites if you want, but don’t exclude the whole egg just because the “gurus” tell you eggs are bad. Oh and if you are worried about “eggs and cholesterol”, that is a myth.
The avocado is one of the best sources of dietary fats an athlete can have because it combines the benefits of being a source of monounsaturated fats and a source of other micronutrients and fibre. You honestly can’t go wrong with having avocado in your life so be trendy and have some of that avo in your life. In addition, the versatility of avocado makes it a true winner as a fat food staple. You can add it to your sandwich, slice into your salad, mash into a guacamole dip, or just eat it like a kiwi if you roll like that. So next time you are at the shops, grab this green nutritious fruit (yes technically a fruit) and add a lil fatty goodness to your next meal.
So...to wrap it up!
So there you go, now you know the 5 key fat food staples I personally eat in my diet as an athlete and Sports Dietitian. Keep in mind I also get fat from other foods such as meats and cheese but this list was the main staples that contribute the most of my dietary fat on a daily basis. Plus, most of the foods I introduced today specifically provide HEALTHY FATS in your diet - which is an underrated but important part of an athletes diet.
Feel free to tell me in the comments section, what is your favourite fat food source. Mine would be peanut butter - it’s a great combo of flavour and #health.
Now it’s time for you to use this new knowledge and level up your food game even more and improve your fuelling.
Please do remember that getting an individualized plan and advice from a dietitian is very very key to optimising your nutrition - including getting in the right amount and type of fat.
So, If you want a sports dietitian to personally help you & work with you 1:1 to help you master your nutrition and get a handle over the flexible nutrition approach while providing more accountability and guidance...
I have a new 90-day nutrition program called the 90-Day Macro Sherpa program - which is a nutrition coaching experience designed to help kickstart your flexible nutrition lifestyle and show you how to harness it the right way.
Interested? To apply for this coaching experience, CLICK HERE.
Or you can shoot me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to ask me any questions.
Stay safe and stay determined.
Hi there! My name's Aleksa Gagic - i'm a Brisbane Sports Dietitian & Brisbane Sports Nutritionist. I have 7+ years experience in providing professional nutrition consulting and want to help you learn about the power of flexible nutrition.