Olympic Athletes Brag About High-Fat Diets. Take It With a Grain of S…



Olympic Athletes Brag About High-Fat Diets. Take It With a Grain of Salt.

Low-carb intakes have been in vogue, but they don’t necessarily work.

Starre Vartan

02.13.18 5:13 AM ET

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Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast

On Monday night, 17-year-old American phenom Chloe Kim dazzled audiences with thrilling flips and turns that earned her a gold in women’s halfpipe.

She also charmed Twitter following as she chronicled her food intake.

Kim isn’t the only athlete who has showcased her love of high fat food while performing amazing Olympic feats: Sometimes, it can seem as if the old adage “you are what you eat” is turned on its head when it comes to Olympians. While we’re dieting and trying to keep up with our New Year’s resolutions, the elite athletes in Pyeongchang, South Korea might consume what nutritionists call “fat bombs,” yet not resemble balls of lard. These competitors, on average, have much lower body-fat percentages than average, even though they eat plenty of the finger-licking stuff.

That’s because, of course, they’re using that fat—along with other nutrients like proteins and carbs—to ski, skate, and luge their way to gold. But some think fat is more than just a part of a balanced diet—it might be key to winning.

Far from being a settled question, exactly how much fat, carbs, and other foods athletes should eat is hotly debated, and for good reason: When you’re a high-level athlete bound for the Olympics, you have a different relationship to your body and nutrition than the rest of us. What you eat has long- and short-term consequences. The wrong snack can cause you to cramp up, tire out in the last mile, or run to the bathroom when you haven’t a moment to spare. The wrong foods or the wrong combinations of foods can mean the difference between taking home a gold medal or going home empty-handed.

So while plenty of the general public have dallied with low-carb or low-fat diets for weight…

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