The pervading perception that fat in food equates to excess body fat is something that has been exploited by the food industry for years. Supermarket shelves are full of products telling consumers how low in fat they are but is fat really the enemy we all think it is? Sure, pound for pound, dietary fat is more laden with calories than carbohydrates but it also takes the body longer to digest so you feel fuller for longer. This is further assisted by chemicals such as oleic acid found in certain fats such as duck fat. Adding more fat to your diet means you’re far less likely to snack on carb laden foods that elevate insulin levels making you feel lethargic. Fat is a fuel that gives you energy, improving motivation to exercise to burn excess body fat. So don’t shun fat and get drawn towards ‘low fat’ food alternatives as these are often loaded with sugar, which has far more to answer for concerning the growing obesity problem in the UK.
Just be aware that the high calorific value of fat means you can overdo it. Ideally, fat should constitute about 30% – 40% of your caloric intake, with 20% from proteins and 40% – 50% from carbohydrates. Also avoid trans-fats, found in processed foods such as cakes and biscuits. This are hard for the body to process and do contribute to weight gain.