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Real Life Diet Questions Answered

Angela Dowden
Nutritionist

Posted 18 Mar 08

Is my tiredness due to too little fat in my diet?

I've been doing quite well over the last week keeping the number of calories on target but I keep coming in very low on the amount of fat. I think this may be why I am feeling zapped of energy. What kind of foods can I eat that have low calorie but slightly higher fat content?
Thanks

Our expert says...

Hi there.

Fat is a really important part of the diet, as the body needs it for many processes and structures in the body. Making hormones, absorbing certain vitamins from food, keeping your skin healthy and keeping your brain in tip top condition are just a few examples!

However, when you are on a weight loss programme it is important to control the amount of fat you eat, as it is high in calories, but not to avoid fat completely. The secret is eating the healthy fats and not wasting your calories on unhealthy fats! This means avoiding saturated fats, found in 'solid' fats such as cheese and butter, as these are known to be bad for your heart and cardiovascular system. You should also avoid trans-fats, found in processed foods, as these are now being linked to many diseases.

In place of these, use unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats in your diet, such as drizzling olive oil on salads. Also make sure to include essential fats that your body cannot make, such as Omega 3 and 6. These are found in oily fish (like salmon, sardines and fresh tuna) and nuts and seeds. Walnuts and pumpkin seeds are particularly good sources of these essential fats and can be eaten in small amounts as snacks.

If you add some of these foods to your diet on a regular basis, you should start to feel your energy return. Make sure you eat some wholegrain carbohydrates with each meal too (e.g. oats, wholemeal or rye bread, brown rice, buckwheat or wholewheat pasta), as these are the body?s main source of fuel for energy. To keep your energy levels up, it is best to include some carbohydrate with each meal.

I hope this helps you regain your energy soon.


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