The Truth: Focus On Fats
Fat: The Four Letter Word
Health advice has been centred around removing fat from your diet. Really? Recent reports suggest this might not be true and this approach is not working.
Why? Three reasons
- People are cutting healthy fats out of their diets
- Low fat options can mean higher sugars and so more calories
- Supermarkets provide all options: lower fat, reduced fat, lite or lighter versions. To be labelled low fat, foods have to be 30% less fat than a similar product—but they are often still BAD choices
Your Body Needs Fat
Before racing to the local takeaway read on. You need to include the ‘right’ fats.
These are man made fats, typically in processed foods like sausages, pies, cakes and cheese. These fats are usually solid at room temperature and lead to harmful LDL cholesterol. Regular consumption increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Eat Fats Sparingly
- Always eat a balanced diet, try to understand your calorie intake and meet the minimum recommended exercise levels
- Check out the Live Well section on the NHS.uk site for more information
- Eat fatty foods sparingly. There are nearly twice as many calories in fat per gram versus carbohydrate
- Choose food < 3% fat (3g per 100g)
- Choose saturated fat free or choose food < 1.5g saturated fat (1.5g per 100g)
Watch out for these foods
- Processed meat products like pies
- Cheese (especially hard cheese)
- Some savoury cakes and chocolate confectionery
- Biscuits, cakes, pastries
- What are the ‘right’ fats?
Eat monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats:
- Olive/Rapeseed (Canola)/Sunflower oil
- Nuts like almonds, brazils, peanuts
Eat foods with Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids
- Rapeseed/Soy Bean/Sunflower/Walnut Oil
- Salmon, Sardines, Mackerel
- Fresh Tuna
All research and articles emphasise the importance of a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Statistics show that 100% of us will die! Whether we should avoid carbohydrates, fat or eggs is less clear cut.
Nevertheless, be careful who funds the research behind the headlines. It might be advisable to take some scientific studies with a pinch of salt. Although you know, that expression may have been invented by the low sodium lobby.