Low fat is out

20 April 2017 by
First published: 19 August 2016

Low fat is out, as if you’re trying to win the war against wobbles and getting nowhere – you’re probably doing something wrong. Along with counting calories, ditching high fat foods for their low fat counterparts is often touted as the number one way to slim down, but with 57 per cent of women in the UK being overweight, the conventional dietary advice dished out just isn’t working.

A new report by the National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration reveals that skimping on high fat foods like butter, cream and cheese could actually have detrimental consequences for health, and in fact our modern-day obsession with steering our diets towards low fat foods is the real culprit to our weight loss woes. Here we’ve put together five facts you need to know about the widely-demonised macronutrient, in order to help you make more nutritious choices.

5 facts about fat

Essential info to help you get clued up on good fats

1 When fat is removed, sugar is added

Low fat foods often contain extra sugar to help increase their taste and texture in place of fat, but sugar is bad news for health. The sweet stuff causes a rise in blood sugar levels, which sparks an increase in insulin, the all-important hormone that removes glucose from the blood. Since insulin is also a storage hormone, it encourages those extra calories to be stored in the body as fat. To make sure you’re not overdoing it on hidden sugars, always read labels. Look at the ‘carbs as sugars’ on the packaging’s nutritional information, as this includes both natural and added sugars, and check the ingredient list for anything ending in ‘ose’, such as maltose, fructose and glucose – as these are all hidden forms of sugar.

2 Monounsaturated fat helps fight heart disease

Fat can actually help prevent heart disease. Monounsaturated fats, which feature highly in the Mediterranean diet, (one of the healthiest diets in the world) are thought to keep cholesterol levels in check and improve the function of blood vessels. Healthy monounsaturated fats can be found in nut butters, seeds, avocado and olive oil, so make sure these form part of your daily diet.

3 Saturated fat in coconut oil can boost weight loss

Saturated fat has long been demonised as being dangerous for health, but the special type of saturated fat found in coconut oil called lauric acid can actually help to fight the excess pounds. Lauric acid is a medium-chain fatty acid that is mobilised more easily into energy in the liver rather than being stored as fat.

4 Trans fats are disastrous for health

Trans fats are a nasty type of fat found in most types of processed foods, which wreaks havoc on your body. Not only has it been linked to clogging arteries, but also to increasing the risk of some forms of cancer. Always read labels to be sure to minimise trans fat consumption.

5 Only fats found in some cooking oils can tolerate high temperatures

Organic butter, ghee, cold pressed rapeseed oil and coconut oil are some of the healthiest cooking oils, as their composition remains stable when heated to high temperatures. Other oils such as flaxseed oil, avocado oil and olive oil are better used as salad dressings instead of in the frying pan as they can produce toxic chemicals when exposed to heat.