POPULATION AS A WHOLE FOR DECADES WE'VE BEEN TOLD TO CURB OUR FAT INTAKE IF WE WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT, YET OUR POPULATION AS A WHOLE IS HEAVIER THAN EVER.
The supermarkets are packed with premium-priced low fat foods, and chances are you check the fat content before popping something into your basket.
Gram for gram, fat is higher in calories than protein or carbohydrates; but that's only half the story.
Many so-called 'diet foods' have simply replaced the fat with refined carbohydrates and sugar, which are known to have a deleterious effect on weight, and health in general.
Fat does not trigger the activation of insulin that can lead to fat storage; eating refined carbohydrates does. Fat also makes you feel satiated, while
refined carbs exacerbate cravings. Very low fat diets are in fact harmful. Fat
is essential to female wellbeing because it's used to build hormones, and compounds called prostaglandins that protect against inflammation.
Dietary fat is needed to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and is vital for brain function, mood and skin health.
WHICH FATS ARE BEST?
Avoid fat-laden processed foods and stick to natural sources. Omega-3 polyunsaturated
fatty acids, found in oily fish, protect the heart and support child development during
Monounsaturated fat from nuts, olive oil and avocado can lower cholesterol levels, and support blood sugar control. The jury is still out on whether
saturated fats - found in red meat and dairy – are harmful.