Bicycling.com has an older article, like many others out there, aimed at debunking long-held myths about fat:
“Studies show that higher-fat diets make more sense for fit people than low-fat diets,” says nutritionist Liz Applegate, Ph.D., author of Encyclopedia of Sports & Fitness Nutrition. “In one study, endurance athletes ran up to 24 percent longer before they fatigued when they ate a diet that was above 30 percent fat compared to one that was below 20 percent,” she says.
24 percent longer? That’s a big deal! The article then talks about the role of Omega-3 fatty acids in burning fat:
One of the surprising benefits of eating dietary fat that researchers are just now beginning to grasp is that it burns body fat. Recent research shows that omega-3 fatty acids… increase the size of your cells’ fuel-burning furnaces so your metabolic rate rises and you burn more calories every minute of every day.
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What else can Omega-3s do to make you physically fit? Increase insulin sensitivity, of course:
Omega-3s also help make you more sensitive to insulin, the chemical your body releases after you eat to help push food into storage. Being sensitive to insulin ultimately means you store less fat and the fat that you do have stocked away is more easily used as energy. The result is healthy blood sugar and an appetite free of sugar spikes, crashes and cravings.
And another benefit that I was unaware of:
Omega-3 fats also help generate testosterone, the hormone we need for muscle building. More muscle plus more calorie burning equals less body fat.
I haven’t heard this one, but I’ll definitely look into it — I wonder what sort of implications this has for sex drive and libido! The article also discusses the widely known effects of omega-3s on the heart as well reducing reducing muscle pain.
Updated: The article is no longer available on Bicycling.com, but I found it published on another site. Read the full article if you’d like.