Four Eating Habits That Reduce Injury Risk

2. Don’t forget the fat.

Fat has a bad reputation, but it’s needed in the diet to create healthy cell membranes that are resistant to damage during exercise. Certain types of fat are also essential ingredients in compounds that participate in the inflammation process, which can keep small injuries from becoming big ones. In a recent study from the University of Buffalo, 86 female runners were interviewed about their eating habits and current injury status. Their level of fat intake turned out to be the single best dietary predictor of injury status, with the women who ate the least fat being the most likely to have an existing injury.

The women in the Buffalo study who had the lowest injury risk got roughly 30 percent of their daily calories from fat, and that’s a good number to target, as long as you’re eating the right types of fat. Make sure that no more than 10 percent of your total daily calories come from saturated fat, and try to consume twice as much unsaturated fat as saturated fat. Also, do your best to hit a daily target of 3,000 mg of omega-3 essential fats.

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