A Christian Guide to Body Stewardship, Diet and Exercise

Chapter 2: Basic Nutrition 24 Polyunsaturated fats, in their natural form, are liquid at room temperature. There are two types of polyunsaturated fats: omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fish, fish oil, flaxseed, and soybean oil. Sources of omega-6 fatty acids include poultry, eggs, nuts, cereals, whole grain breads, pumpkin seeds, and most vegetable oils (e.g., corn, safflower, soybean, sunflower, linseed). Saturated fats are solid at room temperature. Sources of saturated fat include fatty cuts of meat, dark poultry meat, high-fat dairy, tropical oils (e.g., coconut oil, palm, cocoa butter) and lard. There is currently some debate regarding the health risks associated with diets high in saturated fats. For years there has been a long-standing bias that diets high in saturated fats are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. However, current research now seems to suggest there is no clear or direct correlation between saturated fat intake and heart disease (Hooper et al., 2020). Trans fat is another type of fat that is created when converting liquid fats into solid fats. Examples of trans fat include shortening and some margarines. Unlike saturated fats, trans fats are believed to raise low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Similar to saturated fats, diets high in trans fats may increase blood cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease. Table 2.7 provides recommendations for how much of your daily fat intake should come from the various types of fat (Israetel et al., 2019). Table 2.7. Fat Intake Recommendations Water Although water does not contain any energy (calories), it is an important macronutrient and daily consumption is vital for life. In fact, up to 60% of the human body is comprised of water. The body uses water to absorb and transport nutrients, remove waste, regulate body temperature, and maintain other bodily functions. As a result, even a small amount of dehydration can have a large impact on mental and physical performance. Research shows that exercise performance can be impacted with as little as a 2% loss in body water. Water loss in excess of 5% can decrease work capacity by almost 30% and cause extreme fatigue and dizziness, while a 15-25% loss can result in death (Jeukendrup & Gleeson, 2010). Fat Type % of Daily Fat Intake Monounsaturated 45-60% Polyunsaturated 35-50% Saturated 5-20% Trans fats < 1%