Fats – friend or foe?

Fats – friend or foe?

On your quest to improve your health and wellbeing, it may be tempting to think that going low fat or fat free will help you on your way towards shedding any extra pounds... after all it seems logical to associate fat in food with the fat we’re trying to shift from our legs, bums and tums.
 
But contrary to popular belief, not all fat will make you fat – in fact, eating ‘good fat’ may help keep you svelte.
 
The ’good’ or ‘lean’ fat I refer to here is the type of fat found in foods like avocados, nuts, olive oil, eggs, seeds, flaxseed, meats, fish and seafood. These delicious and nutritious fat-containing foods help your body feel full and satisfied so you are less likely to snack, and help keep blood sugar steady by slowing the rate that sugary foods and carbs enter your blood stream.

Some of these options contain a particular fatty acid called omega 3 – everyone has heard of it - oily fish such as salmon and mackerel is rich in it – and this may even help shift fat out of the fat cells so its accessible for your body to burn off during your exercise, as well as contributing to a strong immune system, well-cushioned joints, a healthy mind and amazing hair, skin and nails.

You may already be familiar with trans fats and saturated fats – the ones in ready meals, fried foods, biscuits, muffins, and the obvious white fat on meat. These give all others fats a bad name and should be avoided. But what about the products advertised as ‘low fat’ or ‘fat free’ – I suggest giving these a miss too as to help give these foods flavour they are likely to contain extra sugar, salt or sweeteners – which ironically may have more impact on your weight than the naturally tastier ‘full fat’ alternatives! So, if you have a choice between a low fat hummus and a regular one, my advice is to take the regular one every time.

A handful of almonds, grilled fish, avocado on oatcakes, a drizzle of olive oil on your salad, greek yogurt with your berries or a lean beef stir-fry…Think lean and sleek, and try incorporating some ‘good fats’ with every snack and meal.

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