Dietary Fats

Types | Utilization | Weight Management | Effects on Endurance

Mono-unsaturated Fats Dietary Oils Omega-3 in Seafood Poly-unsaturated Fats (Omega-3) Poly-unsaturated Fats (Omega-6) Saturated Fats

Types of Fats


  • Energy Storage
  • Insulation
  • Body structure
  • Cell membranes
  • Protection
  • Essential fatty acids (linoleic and linolenic acid)
    • controlling inflammation, blood clotting, and brain development
  • Hormones & bile salts
  • Vitamin carrier (Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K)
  • Palatability and satiety of foods

Weight Management

  • A reduction in dietary fat without a reduction in total calories or an increase in physical activity only produces small, if any changes in body fat mass (Leibel 1992).
  • Also, see Macronutrient Ratio Studies.


Western diets high in fat and cholesterol may be a significant human PFAS exposure pathway as well as a important moderator of related toxicities. In fact, PFAS have a molecular structure similar to that of fatty acids and may trigger some of the same signaling pathways that are essential for endogenous metabolism. (Roth 2020)

Effects on Endurance

  • High-fat diets may limit endurance if carbohydrates are low and the body is accustomed to a higher carbohydrate diet.
    • After 2–4 weeks, physical endurance is not affected by ketosis as long as dietary fat remains high. (Phinney 2004).
    • There is no net glucose synthesis from lipids except from glycerol portion - 10% by weight
  • A high-fat diet may actually increase endurance in certain elite athletes, particularly if they have adapted to such a diet regimen.
    • Studies are mixed as to whether it increases endurance
    • The ideal would be fat adaptation with high glycogen and intramuscular triglyceride stores
    • Fat adaptation occurs after five days of being on the high fat diet and persists during one day of carbing up (Burke 2000)

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