The fats that you should be including in your diet

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Nikki Caputa is a health and fitness coach who works one-to-one with clients and runs her own fitness camps in Fareham where she trains groups.

Nikki is also an ambassador for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and a UK Hypo-presive Method Trainer.

She helps people master a fitness technique that targets the core.

Visit Follow Nikki on Twitter @nikkifit mum1

at free fad diets were incredibly trendy in the 90s and often laden with mounds of sugar, artificial ingredients, flour and starch.

As a nutritionist and coach it’s now time to come out of the woodwork to proclaim fat, when eaten correctly, can actually lead to a fitter, leaner body.  

The truth is fat does not make you fat. In fact, a diet rich in healthy fats can help to break down unwanted fat in your body.

We need fat in our diet to build our skin cells, balance our hormone levels, keep our neurological system in shape and help the body utilize vitamins A, D and E.

One of the most widely discussed hormones is leptin (I wrote about this last week) which is the satiety hormone produced by fat cells that signal the body to eat less.

Researchers believe consuming healthy fats improves leptin response.

So, while some people are scared to eat fat, a deficiency can cause more problems than solutions.

If you want to lose fat, then check out the facts before cutting them out of your day to day life.

Good fats? Bad fats? What’s the difference? I thought all fat was bad.  

Think again.

Good fat comes from avocado, wild cold water fish like salmon, tuna, sardines and anchovies, free range eggs, nuts (think almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, brazil nuts and cashews), seeds (go for flax, pumpkin, sunflower, hemp and chia), olives, and some oils (try olive oil or avocado oil for salads and dressings, coconut oil is perfect for cooking with).

Bad fats come from food with heavy levels of saturated fats such as whole milk, many cheeses, red meat, fatty meats, palm oil, chips and fried foods, just to name a few.

Trans fat is a type of unsaturated fat that behaves like a saturated fat because of its chemical structure. It increases our risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.

Naturally occurring trans fats are found in small amounts in dairy products, beef, veal, lamb and mutton. Artificial, synthetic, industrial or manufactured trans fats are caused by the way some fats and oils are processed and are found in foods that use hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable fats, such as deep fried and baked foods.

The best ways to avoid trans fat?

Eat butter instead of blended margarines and butters.

Choose lean meat trimmed of all visible fat

Choose alternatives to dairy where you can.

Try to limit the amount of fast foods, takeaway meals and packaged foods, including store bought biscuits, pastries, pies and cakes.

Read your food labels and avoid foods that show ‘hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils’. Be aware that at the moment in the UK the law doesn’t currently enforce companies to list these fats on their food labels.

Good fat provides your body with omega-3s, which can lower inflammation and decrease your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Good fat is a vital ingredient for healthy skin, hair, nails and digestion. 

Here are a few quick and easy ideas to add the right fat to your daily diet:

Mix 1½tsp extra virgin olive oil and 2 tbsp red wine vinegar to make a healthy dressing to drizzle on greens, chicken before baking and just about anything that calls for a dressing.

Snack on turkey, goat’s cheese and avocado slices if you are feeling hungry.

A delicious sweet snack: slice half an apple, add blueberries, a scoop of almond butter sprinkled with chia and hemp seeds, mix in a bowl and enjoy.

Coconut oil is particularly delicious straight from the spoon or you could mix it with some almond butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

For recipes and ideas email me