Not all FAT is bad for you.
This is the sentiment shared by experts Dr Louise van den Berg, Dudu Mthuli and Claire Julsing Strydom at the Big FAT Truth event hosted by Unilver in Sandton today.
Dudu who is on the SA Nutrition team at Unilver is a dietician by profession, says it is important for people to realise that there is more to fats than gaining weight.
“We associate fats with weight but there is definitely more to them than that,” says Dudu. She says some fats are vital for your body. "Our main message today to all South Africans is to take note that it’s the quality of fat in the diet that is important for normal growth and development, and when consumed as part of a balanced diet, has a marked impact on the improvement of blood cholesterol and the decreased occurrence of heart disease and stroke," says Dudu.
'Prof Tim Noakes and I are good friends but I do not agree with his diet'
Louise shared this sentiment and says as with all things moderation is key and so is balance.
“You need to limit your processed foods, deep fried foods, salty snacks and certain confectionaries,” says Louise.
She prefers not to call some fat bad and others good but says you must be aware of fats such as trans fatty acids which can cause health problems if consumed too much. She says nowadays margarine is made in such a way that these fats are not in it.
“There are new processes to make margarine that ensure there are no trans fatty acids. You must always check the label,” she says.
Claire, who is a dietician at Nutritional Solutions, stressed the importance of a balanced diet and avoiding fad diets which tell you to cut out macronutrient groups i.e. protein, fats and carbohydrates.
The Tim Noakes diet which encourages people to cut out all carbohydrates and increase their fat intake has faced much scrutiny. Claire says she also believe that his diet is dangerous.
“Prof Tim Noakes and I are good friends. We often engage on various topics but I do not agree with his diet. Every single individual needs their own dietary plan because they have their own nutritional requirements. Telling everyone to have as much fat as they want is dangerous,” she says.
Claire encourages all people to optimise their nutrition.
“Don’t let your waist line compromise your long term health and well-being. Eat and use the right types of fats and oils in moderation,” she says.
All media who attended the event were treated to a fun homemade margarine making experience led by Chef Wendy Croeser.