I have seen a lot of conflicting info lately about the importance of fat in a bodybuilding diet. Some say less than 20%, others say up to 65% and everything in-between. What's the real scoop? Why is fat so important and what is the best percentage?
Fat is responsible for many different activities in the body. Namely, it facilitates absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, E, and D; it's a necessary structural component of all cell membranes; and it's an important precursor of all steroid hormone production - including testosterone. All of these functions are obviously vitally important to anybody who is interested in promoting maximal muscle growth and tissue repair.
How much fat should we eat? Clinically speaking, we need only 3-4% of our calories from fat to "prevent both biochemical and clinical evidence of deficiency." But our goal is not simply to avoid deficiency, it is to optimize growth and repair. I would suggest an intake of 30-40% of calories from fat.