You need to gain muscle size as opposed to mere body size (which is usually a marbling of fat and muscle). In accordance with this concept, you want to avoid fat, however, some fat intake is necessary and even vital for the correct functioning of the human body. Fat plays some vital roles in maintaining the physique at optimum levels. The problem with fat is that it is very dense in calories and easily digested and added to the body. For example, protein and carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram; fat contains 9 calories per gram. What does this mean? It translates into the fact that fat contains 225 percent more calories per gram than either protein or carbohydrates! You want to be careful about how much fat you are getting in your diet because a little goes a long way, especially when you realize that the diet of the average person contains far too much fat. In 1860, fat contributed to 25 percent of the calories consumed in an average person’s diet. Today that figure has escalated to the point where 39 percent of the average person’s caloric intake comes from fat.
How much fat should you allow in your muscle-building diet? Certainly not 39 percent, or even 25 percent. But you don’t need to be as tight about fat as a person who is getting lean or preparing for a bodybuilding contest. A good range would be around 10 to 15 percent of total calories consumed.
The diet of the average person consists of about 39 percent fat. The fat intake should be around 10 to 15 percent fat, from quality fat sources.
What type of fat sources should be utilized in your diet program? The best sources are omega-3 fats, a fish oil that has been found to benefit to the heart. Olive oil and canola oil are also acceptable in moderation.
There are two dietary essential fatty acids (EFAs) and they are not primarily energy-burning fuels like most other dietary fat but are needed for growth and repair of cells. Of the two, linoleic acid is fairly abundant in the major oils we consume (corn and safflower are major sources), and we also have stored up a nice backup of linoleic acid in bodyfat triglycerides. But many of us are deficient in the other essential fatty acid – linolenic acid – and grocery stores have only one selection. You would have to consume a rather large amount of soy oil to bolster this EFA, but a minimal one tablespoon of flaxseed oil would handily fulfill your linolenic deficiency.
As you can see, all fats are not bad. A small amount of the good fats is necessary.