Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Article # 585. Helathy Fats to Build Lean Muscle
Most people assume that to build lean muscle you need to consume an excess amount of protein and eliminate fats and carbohydrates. This could not be farther from the truth. The food pyramid applies to all sorts of people, even the hardcore fitness enthusiast looking to pack on muscle mass. In fact, you could make the argument that body builders and workout enthusiasts looking to add muscle need a balanced diet more than anyone. So why do you need healthy fats to build muscle and what happens when you don’t consume enough healthy fats? Let me explain…
There were lots of misconceptions that to add lean muscle mass, one should just eat a ton of protein and limit my fat intake to a bare minimum because they wanted to look super lean. This really hurts the progress, but from this I eventually learned the facts about proper nutrition and building muscle. I began incorporating a good amount of healthy fats into the diet.
If you do not consume enough healthy fats, your body will use your protein intake as your main energy source. This is a major problem for someone trying to add lean muscle mass. You want your protein and amino acids to help build and repair lean muscle tissue. If your body is using protein as its main energy source, you may not reach your anabolic potential. Consuming a good amount of healthy fats ensures this won’t happen. So what is the proper amount of healthy fats to build muscle? You should make sure that fat intake is at least 25-35 percent of your total calories (depending on your body type). This may seem like a lot of fat, but if you are working out and lifting weights hard, your body will need it! You should be consuming a healthy combination of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and lots of veggies! This will help your body recover and repair damaged muscle tissue at its optimum rate.
So what are the healthy fats that will aid in muscle growth the most? Healthy oils such as olive oil and coconut oil, for instance. Canola oil is okay, and flaxseed oil is great to use, as well. Limit your intake of butter and margarine – these are not healthy fats! Nuts are a great way to get your healthy fats in and help to build lean muscle. Almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, pecans and Brazilian nuts are all great muscle builders. You can also consume peanut butter, but make sure you get a peanut butter that is low in sugar. There are many healthy peanut butter options such as Smart Balance’s. Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna can also help you get your fat intake up. Salmon is probably the best overall muscle builder because it is high in protein, fat and Omegas! Though you can rarely get Salmon in India, you can try for Mackerel / Henning which are high in Omegas.