The Best Healthy Fats for Athletic Performance

Almond butter, almonds, and kale provide healthy fats into your diet.

Written by thealpinepursuit

Hey! My name is Dylan. Welcome to The Alpine Pursuit! I am an adventure enthusiast who loves travel, health, and photography.

The relationship between healthy fats and performance in adventure is clear. To reach optimal performance, you must consume a variety of healthy fats. Additionally, it is crucial to provide your body with carbohydrates, proteins, and micronutrients. The main goal with nutrition and adventure is to eat nutrient-dense foods. These healthy foods provide your body with everything it needs to perform at the highest level. No matter the talent or experience, your body cannot perform without the proper fuel. In fact, if you want to take your adventure game to the next level, it all starts with your diet.

There are a ton of different diets out there. However, supplying your body with the nutrients needed for energy does not have to be a hard task. So, forget trying a complicated diet plan. These are difficult to follow in the long run. Instead, take the simple approach to consume nutrient-dense foods. These foods will fuel your body and enhance your athletic performance. Additionally, you will still get to enjoy your life with the occasional cheat meals. The key to diet is about balance.


Understanding the Basics


The proper nutrition boosts your energy, has you feeling better, increases your concentration, and enhances your athletic performance. So, now is the time to change your diet. It will impact all areas of your life. The difference can be incredible, especially with accomplishing your adventure goals. Performance is dependent on several categories. These factors include your intake of total calories, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fluids, and vitamins.

A healthy diet can be basic and easy to follow, while still tasting delicious. First, once you understand the basics behind providing your body with the right foods it becomes a breeze to meal prep healthy foods. All it takes is some research and time management. With this in mind, think about the times you make poor diet choices. Mostly, it is when you are rushing and do not have the right foods waiting for you in the fridge. Taking the time to meal prep can change the habit of eating out or consuming junk.

The three major nutrients you need in large numbers are carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. Fats are crucial for energy, brain and heart health, and to absorb fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). Furthermore, the total amount of fats should fall in the range of 20% to 35% of your total calories each day. In addition, fats do well with satisfying hunger as there are 9 calories per gram of fat. As shown above, it is essential to provide your body with the right sources of healthy fats.


Coconuts are filled with healthy fats for better athletic performance.


Healthy Fats and Performance


Fat is necessary. All things considered though, not all types of fat are created equal. The three types are saturated, unsaturated, and trans. While fat gets a negative reputation for poor outcomes, the addition of healthy fats benefit your overall health. Unsaturated fats are the healthiest for your body.

The key message is to understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy types of fat. As a major source of energy for the body, it is important to provide the most beneficial types. Put the right foods into your diet and you will see an improvement in mood, energy, and athletic performance.


The Role of Fat and Cholesterol


Bad cholesterol leads to clogged arteries and a horrible cardiovascular system for performance. HDL and LDL are the two types of cholesterol. HDL is the good cholesterol in the body. LDL is the type of cholesterol responsible for negative health conditions. The key is to keep HDL levels high to protect your cardiovascular health.

Given these points, get rid of the bad sources of fat in your diet. Increase your HDL, while decreasing your LDL, if you want to create a well-performing body. Rather than avoiding fat, choose the right sources.


Healthy Unsaturated Fats


First, the best type of fats are unsaturated. These fats help to increase the good cholesterol, leading to a healthy cardiovascular system. There are two types, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. These fats lower the risk of heart problems, abnormal heart rhythms, lower blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, and decrease inflammation. Either source is a great addition to your diet.


Almonds are filled with vitamin K and is essential vitamins and minerals to your health.


Unsaturated Fat Sources


    • Egg Yolk
    • Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, flax, chia seeds)
    • Olives
    • Avocados
    • Soy
    • Tofu
    • Nuts (almonds, peanuts, walnuts, macadamia, cashews)
    • Fatty Fish (salmon, tuna, sardines)
    • Cod Liver Oil
    • Oils (Avocado, Olive, Macadamia, Soybean, Safflower)


Omega-3-6-9 Fatty Acids


All types of unsaturated fats that have incredible benefits within the body. Although all good, it is important to get the right balance between the three in your diet. An imbalance can lead to chronic diseases and worse body performance.

Omega-3s and omega-6s are essential, thus the body cannot produce them. Therefore, these are required in your diet. Omega-9 fatty acids can be produced by the body. Typically, omega-6s overpower omega-3s in western diets. The desired ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is between 1-to-1 and 4-to-1. Unfortunately, the ratio is often much higher.


Omega-3 Fatty Acids


The power of omega-3s include joint improvement, less inflammation, sharper memory, a balanced mood, and a well-performing cardiovascular system. All these components have a large impact on your athletic performance. There are three types of omega-3s including EPA, DHA, and ALA. EPA and DHA are mostly in oily fishes, whereas ALA in found in plant products. These fats have the potential to transform your level of adventure.


Omega-3 Sources


Healthy fats for athletic performance.





      • Fish (salmon, mackerel, oysters, tuna, sardines)
      • Cod Liver Oil
      • Algae and Seaweed






      • Kale or Spinach
      • Walnuts
      • Chia and Flaxseeds
      • Brussels Sprouts


Butter and coconut oil are examples of saturated fats.


Saturated Fats


Secondly, saturated fats are also beneficial to your health. However, you must consume these fats in moderation. The recommendation is to keep the total amount of saturated fats at a maximum of 10% of your total calories. Saturated fats are predominately found in animal products. Saturated fats have the potential to raise your “bad” cholesterol. While there is no need to cut out all saturated fat, you should aim to not consume in excess.


Saturated Fat Sources


    • Dairy Products (cheese, yogurt, cream)
    • Dark Chocolate
    • Red Meat
    • Chicken Skin
    • Butter
    • Coconut Products


Trans Fats


All trans fat should be cut out of your diet. No amount is considered safe. These fats are found in many packaged foods (baked goods and snacks), fried foods, and hydrogenated oils. These fats only work to ruin your health.


Healthy Fats Lead to a Better Performance


Overall, the addition of unsaturated fats into your diet can have profound impacts on your athletic performance. For example, a decrease in joint pain, reduced fatigue, and sharpened memory are just some of the incredible benefits fats can provide to your body while out on an adventure. For more information on the health benefits of fat, check out Choosing Healthy Fats Guide.



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