Fat, we have all been taught, is the enemy to health and sport performance. We must lower our fat intake to be healthy. But what if fat has had a bad rap? Can we use the nutrient to improve our cricket?
Lets start with the normally accepted view of fat in the modern diet. You could well think the same, after all we have all be taught it from an early age.
- A high fat diet makes you fat. The fatter you are the slower you move and the worse your sport performance.
- High fat diets are associated with coronary heart disease and other nasty obesity related stuff.
- Eat a low fat diet and you will be healthier and fitter.
Here is the kicker though. Neither of those things are proven to be true.
What you have been taught is probably wrong.
For example, the idea that fat makes you fat stems from the fact that fat has more calories per gram (9kcal per g) that protein or carbohydrate (both 4kcal per g). Eat more fat and you are getting more calories. More calories means overeating and putting on weight.
There is no denying the truth in this, but fat also make you feel fuller more quickly making it harder to eat as many total calories. As long as the total amount of calories you burn is equal to or greater than the amount you eat then it's impossible to put on body fat.
Total calories always wins in that circumstance.
As to heart disease:
"the N.I.H. spent several hundred million dollars trying to demonstrate a connection between eating fat and getting heart disease and, despite what we might think, it failed."
The bottom line with the low fat theory is that a large percentage of westerners eat a low fat diet, especially when trying to control their weight (which all cricketers should be doing). However, there have never been more fat people.
Low fat just isn't working.
The answer is simple too: Don't fear fat. It is a nutrient after all.
Eat some fat with every meal from a balance of fats. Choose a range of different natural whole food sources: red meat, mixed nuts, olive oil, butter, oily fish like salmon and avocado.
This will give you all the benefits of fat (lower cholesterol, lower body fat, reduced stress, mental clarity, enhanced mood and better sleep) which will transfer onto the cricket pitch.© Copyright miSport Holdings Ltd 2008