Tip: The Food Pyramid Was Wrong About Fat

See this pro bodybuilder's recommendation for dietary fat. Hint: It's the opposite of the USDA.

The Pyramid, Corrected

The USDA food pyramid should actually be inverted, minus the sugar aspect. Sugar is best avoided, but fat, vegetables, and protein should make up the bulk of your diet. Keep in mind, fat contains 9 calories per serving as opposed to 4 calories in both carbs and protein, respectively. Fat is also less thermic than protein.

Fat plays a role in all sorts of bodily functions from heart health, joint health, immunity, and circulation; not to mention energy production and positive impact on insulin sensitivity. Its list of jobs is long, so fats play a much more prominent role in my diet now than it did 20 years ago while caught up in the low-fat diet craze.

As a 220 pound bodybuilder, my fat intake runs around 100 grams per day when my goal isn't to step on stage absolutely ripped. You'll need to tinker a bit with your intake to find what works best for your body.

Sources Matter Most

However, what's significantly more important than the amount consumed is the source. Saturated fat isn't the demon the media portrays, provided it's coming from organic, grass-fed meats or coconut oil.

Monounsaturated fats should be your focus. Think olives, avocados, almonds, organic butter, etc. Whenever possible, eat your fat via the food source from which it's derived. I recommend it over consuming just the oil, which I liken to porn. You know, sex without the physical intimacy of another person. Indulging in Castelvetrano green olives is far better than swallowing a tablespoon of just olive oil.

Stay far away from polyunsaturated oil (vegetable oils/omega-6) because they easily become rancid and create inflammation in the body – the root of all sorts of chronic diseases.

Mark Dugdale is an IFBB pro bodybuilder and Mr. Olympia competitor. Mark has 22 years of experience on stage and a passion for brutal workouts. He has also produced five documentaries, participated in seminars with prison inmates, and was granted one of the last recorded interviews with Joe Weider. Follow Mark Dugdale on Twitter