Fat used to be considered the other F-word for bodybuilders. This was due to the common misconception that if you eat fat you get fat. And while fat may be more calorically dense than the other two main macronutrients—protein and carbs—it’s not the devil it was once made out to be. In fact, getting in more of certain healthy fats will actually enhance fat loss, not to mention provide a plethora of health and performance benefits. Yet it’s difficult to ensure that your meal plan is rich in the right kinds of healthy fats every single day, so it’s always a smart idea to supplement your diet. Consider stacking these three fats for ultimate health, performance, and physique.
The first type of fat that should be on your supplement list is fish oil. This is the best source of the essential omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosa- hexaenoic acid (DHA). In the body these fats produce beneficial prostaglandins that inhibit inflammation and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as provide other health benefits, such as helping to prevent muscle breakdown, enhance joint healing, and improve brain function. New research also shows that these fats can directly boost fat loss and enhance muscle growth.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a healthy type of omega-6 fat that helps to build muscle and strength while simultaneously shedding body fat. One way it appears to work is by preventing the storage of the fat you consume in your diet, forcing it to be burned for fuel. Research also suggests that supplementing with CLA aids the transport of fat into the mitochondria of cells, where it is burned away for fuel. This increase in the amount of fat burned spares muscle from being broken down, which results in greater muscle growth and strength.
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is another healthy omega-6 fatty acid. While most omega-6 fats are precursors to inflammatory prostaglandins that can have negative effects in the body, GLA acts much like the omega-3 fats in that it leads to the production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, which have numerous benefits that include better muscle and joint recovery as well as enhanced fat loss, to name just a few. Good sources of GLA include borage oil, evening primrose oil, and black currant seed oil.