SHAPING UP: Get the skinny on types of fat ...

There's been quite a lot of coverage about fat in the press recently after the National Obesity Forum advised that we should all be eating fat as part of a healthy diet.

Friday, 10th June 2016, 12:59 pm
Updated Monday, 13th June 2016, 11:18 am
Salmon is good for you.

It has caused quite a stir because some health professionals don’t agree. Some experts advise us to eat fat, and some warn us to avoid it.

It can all be very confusing so I thought I’d simplify it and lay out the facts for you.

Thai turkey stir fry with chilli and basil.

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First of all, you need to know that there are good fats and bad fats.


Plant-based oils like olive oil, flaxseed oil and coconut oil


Thai turkey stir fry with chilli and basil.


Nuts and seeds

Fatty Fish like salmon and sardines


Fat found on meats





Fried foods

We need the good fats as they are essential to our body. They act as a fuel source, help absorb important nutrients, and contribute to proper brain function.

Good fats support a number of your body’s functions and improves cholesterol, blood sugar control and heart health.

But the bad types can make you gain a huge amount of weight and also have the opposite effect to the good fat by raising total blood cholesterol levels and can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

How much fat?

Although good fats are healthy, they are high in calories which means they need to be eaten in moderation. Too many calories, whether they are good or bad, will make you put on weight.

On a daily basis you should aim to consume about 32 grams of good fats. To put that into perspective, that’s near enough one avocado (15g), one egg (11g) and one tsp olive oil (4.5g). If you consume more than the 32 grams you run the risk of putting on weight, so make sure you monitor the amount of fat in your diet.


10-minute ab blast

This workout is perfect for toning your stomach area and can be done with no equipment, in only ten minutes.

Perform the five abdominal exercises below for 30 seconds each with 30 seconds’ rest between each exercise ...

30 seconds CRUNCHES

30 seconds rest

30 seconds BICYCLE ABS

30 seconds rest

30 seconds SQUIRMS

30 seconds rest

30 seconds CROSSOVERS

30 seconds rest

30 seconds LEG RAISES

30 seconds rest

30 seconds CRUNCHES

30 seconds rest

30 seconds BICYCLE ABS

30 seconds rest

30 seconds SQUIRMS

30 seconds rest

30 seconds CROSSOVERS

30 seconds rest

30 seconds LEG RAISES

If you want more of a challenge, try to hold the plank in between exercises instead of resting.

For a full demonstration of the workout go to my Facebook page


Thai turkey stir fry with chilli and basil

Serves two

3 tsp olive oil

4 echalion shallots (or 6 regular), sliced

1 red chilli, sliced (leave in the seeds)

4 garlic cloves, sliced

1 lemongrass stalk, very finely sliced

1 x 400g pack turkey breast stir-fry

1 x 200g pack sugar snap peas

1 1/2 tbsp Thai fish sauce

2 tbsp lime juice

1 x 28g pack basil, leaves only

1: Heat half the oil in a wok or frying pan over a medium heat. Stir-fry the shallots, chilli, garlic and lemongrass for five minutes until softened and fragrant, adding a splash of water to stop it catching; tip into a bowl.

2: Increase the heat to high, add the rest of the oil plus the turkey and sugar snap peas and stir-fry for three minutes until the turkey is just cooked through.

3 Mix the Thai fish sauce and lime juice with 2 tablespoons water.

Add to the pan, along with the shallot mixture; toss everything together for one minute.

Remove from the heat and toss the basil through just before serving.


Always stretch after a workout to maintain good flexibility.

It only takes five minutes at the end of each workout.

If you avoid stretching, over time your muscles will become tighter and tighter, which can often lead to bad posture, muscle strains and other injuries/niggles.


Your Trainer: Graham Low, owner of East Coast Fitness, is an award-winning personal trainer based in Seaham. The ex-professional footballer was nominated for the Small Business of the Year and Leisure Awards at the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards last year. Graham won the Leisure Award at the North East Hotels Association Awards while working as gym manager at Seaham Hall in 2012. For personal training, boot camps, small group training and online programmes email [email protected] or visit