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As we have learned the 1970s McGovern report, which told us that fat was the enemy and not sugar, launched the low-fat era and flooded our supermarkets with low fat products. Reinforcing the mantra – fat is bad, and must be avoided.

But with low fat products being tasteless, manufacturers added sugar or artificial sweeteners to enhance flavour and guess what? We are now fighting a nation with a massive obesity problem, who are uneducated in the importance of fat and knowing how to spot the difference between the good and bad versions.

Denying ourselves fat over the years has led to deficiencies as we need fat to absorb vital fat soluble vitamins such as A, C, E and K, as well as Omega 3s – which are the good guys. These are what we call Essential fats or EFAs (essential fatty acids).

This type of fat is so important to our diet. It not only helps reduce inflammation – a big cause of obesity – and other illnesses like heart disease, high blood pressure and some cancers, but it can also boost your metabolism, as it sends your blood sugar to the glycogen store where it is then burned as fuel instead, of being stored as fat.

EFAs can be found in the following sources:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds – such as linseed, sunflower, pumpkin, flax and chia.
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Soya
  • Oily fish – such as mackerel, salmon, fresh tuna, sardines (which also all contain high Omega 3 – but not tinned tuna)
  • Avocados

And when we don’t get enough of them we can start to see:

  • Dry skin
  • Trouble losing weight
  • Aching and stiff joints
  • Depression
  • Dry eyes and hair, as well as hair loss
  • Dandruff
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Wounds that don’t heal well
  • High blood pressure
  • PMS and tender breasts
  • Lack of energy and motivation
  • Cracked heals
  • Eczema

But there are some simple changes that can be made to help you get more EFAs in your diet:

  • Sprinkle a seed mix over porridge in the morning
  • Have avocado on toast with a poached egg and some seeds on top;
  • Mix avocado, hummus, egg and crab and serve on a bed of green leafy vegetables like spinach (See my Crab and Avocado recipe).

For more SMART & NUTRITIOUS recipes visit – https://www.smartnutritionandfitness.uk/smart-nutrition/