The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

June 28, 2014

High-fat diets not risky for endurance athletes

RICHMOND — Athletes are always looking for a competitive edge in their diet but have to contend with potential negative health consequences, including increased fat storage and increased risk of coronary artery disease.

Higher fat and carbohydrate diets in particular are front and center in the athletic marketplace, but one wonders whether these diets pose additional risk to endurance athletes.

Two interesting studies have examined the effects of high-fat and high-carbohydrate diets on risk factors for heart disease in endurance athletes.

The first study looked at low (16 percent of calories), moderate (30 percent) and high (42 percent) fat diets on body fat, weight, blood pressure, resting heart rate, triglycerides and cholesterol levels.

The participants (12 male and 13 female distance runners who ran at least 35 miles per week) completed four weeks on the low-fat diet and four weeks on the moderate-fat diet. Twelve of the participants agreed to participate in the final phase — a four-week diet high in fat.

The results showed that in these highly trained athletes increasing the daily fat intake from 16 percent to 42 percent of calories had no negative effects on any of the cardiovascular risk factors, fitness levels or the ability to train.

In fact, the low-fat diet seemed to negate some of the positive effects that exercise is presumed to produce. While on the 16-percent-fat diet, participants actually saw their HDL cholesterol (the good stuff) drop, along with an increase in the total cholesterol-to-HDL ratio, suggesting that their heart disease risk may actually be higher while on a low fat diet.

In the second study, researchers examined the effects of a high-fat (52 percent of calories, 30 percent carbohydrate) diet versus a high-carbohydrate (16 percent of calories from fat, 70 percent carbohydrate) diet on body fat, lean body mass, aerobic capacity, and plasma lipids and lipoproteins in 28 trained triathletes over 15 weeks.

The results showed no differences in percent body fat, lean body mass, weight and total body bone density from baseline to week 15.

The higher-carbohydrate group showed higher triglyceride levels and lower HDL cholesterol over the 15 weeks, while the higher-fat group had no change.

Researchers concluded that because endurance athletes log high volumes of long exercise, increasing the percentage of fat in the diet does not cause adverse changes in the lipoprotein profile, body composition or aerobic capacity, suggesting that it may not only be safe but sound to increase fat content.

1
Text Only
Lifestyles & Community
  • Bee on the lookout as beekeepers convene

    Summer vacation season is in full swing, and I had the pleasure of spending the last week and a half filling in at the Farm Store while the store manager, Bethany Pratt, got a welcome respite soaking up the beauty of Ireland.

    July 30, 2014

  • Amanda-Sears-c.jpg Cicada-killer wasps are here

    The extension office has received numerous phone calls over the past couple of weeks about large wasps hovering in yards all over the county.
    This insect is called the cicada killer, and despite its aggressive name, it is not something to be scared of.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brandon-Sears-c.jpg Converting from year-round calving to a controlled breeding season

    Maintaining a controlled breeding and calving season can be one of the most important management tools for cow-calf producers.
    Uniform, heavier and more valuable calves are key reasons to keep the breeding season short.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 Nostalgia-Glenmore.jpg Paper boys learned life, business lessons

    I often flash back to the days from the mid to late 1930s when I was a paper boy.
    There were 10 or 12 of us who rolled out of bed at 5 a.m. every day, jumped on our bicycles and headed downtown to the Glyndon Hotel and picked up our papers for delivery.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick-Ham.jpg Here’s why teachers aren’t paid enough

    The following were included in last year’s exams and were answered by 16-year-old high school students. The answers are genuine, and we must remember that these youngsters will grow up to vote, marry and become parents. It’s a scary thought.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-24 4-H Entries 1.jpg 4-H exhibits are family affair for the Houstons

    Five children from the same family were the first to bring their 4-H exhibits Wednesday to the Madison County Fairgrounds.

    July 24, 2014 5 Photos

  • 7-22 Band Camp 1.jpg Band students ‛take over’ MCHS campus

    The Madison Central High School campus has been “taken over” for two weeks by 170 students attending band camp.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • Dr-Jack-Rutherford.jpg Warning labels needed on energy drinks

    The popularity of energy drinks has soared since they entered the marketplace, but at least one consumer group wants the FDA to order warnings on product labels.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Donna-Moberly.jpg Full Gospel ‛Back to School Bash’ is Aug. 2

    Hello everyone.
    I guess everyone is asking, “How much rain did we get?”

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Katie-Rollins.jpg Thank the Lord for the rain

    Hello readers, it’s a stormy Monday evening as I write this, and I’ve been thanking the Lord all day for the good rain – over an inch in the gauge now, and it looks like more before morning.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo