Fat in Diet

Good or bad?

17 messages
26/08/2002 at 09:07
It depends whether its fresh Parmesan or the horrible powdered stuff that comes out of a shaker (you know the stuff that smells like sick).

On a similar vein can anyone tell me why asparagus makes your wee smell funny?
26/08/2002 at 09:30
The night before my 'long' run i bulk up on some naughty nibbles,cake or chocolate flapjacks at the moment coz the Mrs is preggers and they are always around. It makes me feel guilty for eating them and i do that little bit extra !
26/08/2002 at 12:01
Isn't the purpose of eating carbohydrates to increase glycogen stores? Can't fat become glycogen too, after a bit more work by the body?

And on a totally unscientific note, fat is simply good for the soul.
26/08/2002 at 14:41
Hi Tim
I believe a certain amount of fat in a runners diet is important as the purpose of that fat is to train our energy system to turn fat into energy.

However, as we know when we run our energy comes from a combination of glycogen and fat. The longer the run, we are less likely to slow down by having more glycogen. Simply because turning fat into energy is a two-stage process where fat is first changed into glycogen before becoming energy. Therefore it's better for us to eat more glycogen food than fat.
27/08/2002 at 09:16

On a serious note I believe you are right all running burns some fat and some glycogen - fundamentally there are two issues:

1. As you run faster the ratio of glycogen to fat burn increases.
2. The body metabolises glcogen faster than it does fat.

Hence "hitting the wall" is all about running out of glycogen completely and having to run entirely on fat - slower metabolised = slowing down. Probably the best analogy would be a car running on 2-3 cylinders.

Most experts say that the body contains about one-and-a-half hours glycogen in normal circumstances and therefore running a marathon there is a need to either stoke up prior to the race or refuel on the run and is also the reason why running a fast marathon is not only about conditioning but about fuel strategy.

On and I know the answer about asparagus - apparently its because it has an unusually high amount of vitamin B, more in fact than the body can process and therefore it is passed out via the urine.

By the way I've found that this last asparagus point shouldn't be used as dinner party conversation!
27/08/2002 at 10:09
I was thinking of posting something very similar about salt! Anyone give me a hand on the salt thingy? I reckon that as runners we need to replace salt lost during exercise, although obviously I don't want to have a heart attack or anything nasty like that!

I am wary of the amount of salt I put on my food so I tend to pull back and limit how much I use... Help!
27/08/2002 at 11:51

Most western diets are overstocked with salt so you don't need to worry if you're eating a normal balanced diet.
27/08/2002 at 11:52
A quick SOTW came up with:


....which has some information about Asparagus wee. It's not the vitamin D, it's the sulphur-containing compounds (apparently).

27/08/2002 at 12:02
Jon, I read somewhere you only need to be concerned about the salt thingy if your running gear gets stained with salt deposits after your run, as some people get rid of more salt than others. I guess wear a dark t-shirt and see if anything shows up.
27/08/2002 at 12:07
Thanks milipede - I'm glad to see that my casual observation isn't just a figment of my imagination.

These are the things that people really want to know the answers to - I think I'll apply for a government grant.

For those wishing to sample this "wee" phoenomena can I suggest the following:

1 cup cooked chicken
1 cup mushrooms (fried)
1 tin asparagus tips
2 pints of white wine sauce


Serve on pasta penne

wait 30 minutes.....hey presto asparagus wee!
27/08/2002 at 12:13
Martin, I won't try that recipe as I'm a demi-veggie, however I'm having stir-fry tonight with loads of asparagus!

P.S. I find antibiotics make it smell funny too.
27/08/2002 at 12:18
After a good race, i find a bag of crisps (salt and fat) followed by a Marsbar work wonders for the rejuvenation.
27/08/2002 at 12:20
About fat, too little fat in a runner's diet can have the effect of making you permanently hungry, as I found during my marathon training. The there's the fact that during training you're also training your body to metabolise fat as energy more efficiently.
There are also differences between men and women - apparently women tend to metabolise fat more efficiently than men (only fair as we have more of it in the first place!)which has been suggested is a reason why the performance differences between men and women reduce as the distances increase. I've read women do much better proportionately to men in events like ultramarathons.
27/08/2002 at 12:21
On the asparagus front : has anyone seen 'that scene' in the Austin Powers film Goldmember?

Made me laugh as I thought that I was in the minority of people who noticed the whiff.

Rather oddly I find Sugar Puffs actually produce a nice aroma. Something to do with too much sugar I suppose.

P.S. This is my weirdest posting yet. Just getting it out of my system !!!
27/08/2002 at 12:49
Just don't get me going on Tuna pee.....
27/08/2002 at 13:00
Laura - if women matabolise fat better that men, why do body fat tests suggest women have a higher percentage of body fat? Just a question - (I'm resisting the urge to say its that sneeky whispa bar).

I generally find that a packet of spicy Nik Naks every day satisfies my fat and salt cravings in one hit!

Caz - whats a demi veggie? My brother calls himself a verggie but eats fish etc.

27/08/2002 at 13:03
Yeah your brother is a demi-veggie too then. (Some people call us faux-veggies.)A demi-veggie is one that chooses to eat fish or poulty as well. For me I add fish to the veggie diet. I don't think you can get a demi-veggie on red meat though!

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