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'Fat plays a big role in our body'

February 25, 2009
Should you be banning fats from your diet? Did you know that fat is the body's answer to bad times?

We bring you a series of excerpts from celeb nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar's well-received book Don't Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight, which has already sold 10,000 copies within 20 days of hitting bookshelves (Also see Part I: Do you need to relearn your eating habits?).

The author is fitness guru to stars like Kareena Kapoor and Konkona Sen Sharma and in a two-part interview with, Rujuta also discussed her career and mantras to stay fit.

Rujuta will also answer reader queries, you can address questions to her by clicking here.

Here are two sections from Chapter 3, What to eat: Rethink.

All about fats

'Look at me, from everywhere I am perfect. I just need to lose this', she said picking up flab from just above her low waist jeans and then pointing to the 'saddle bags' which bulged from under her butt, just at the top of her thighs. 'So many of us can empathise with what Radhika is saying,' Mahesh her husband said. 'My only problem is this,' pointing to his pot belly. 'I am also perfect, otherwise.'

See we all are perfect just the way we are. But we are too occupied doing too many imperfect things. Just one of them is banning fats from our diet. Fat plays a big role in our body. Most importantly, it helps us survive during periods of prolonged mental and physical stresses, sickness, and prolonged starvation. Fat is stored as adipose tissue in the body from where energy can be used in these extreme cases. It's due to this ability that the human species has evolved and survived. So fat is our body's answer for bad times. It is the only nutrient that can help us survive through the toughest phases of our life. Thus your so-called lean times will actually make you fat. Corollary: fat or good times will make you lean. So eat fat to lose fat...

How to eat fat

For a lean, toned body, healthy heart, supple skin and lustrous hair, make fat a part of every meal -- or at least of three main meals. It's not just enough to eat food cooked in oil. Include nuts, cheese, or any other dairy product in your diet. Consuming healthy fats in healthy (read adequate) amounts will actually ensure proper functioning of the body and optimum fat burning. Fats, when eaten in combination with carbs and protein, work at reducing the glycemic index (refer to the section on carbs, earlier in this chapter) of food. So they actually work at slowly releasing sugar in the blood. This leads to effective fat burning, stable blood sugar, minimised hunger, a good mood and a glowing complexion. So of course use oil as a cooking medium for vegetables and dal, as most Indians do; don't try to cut it out. Preferably different kinds of oil.

So if you cooked lunch in peanut oil, try soy or safflower oil for dinner. Include peanuts and cheese in your diet. They can often make up a mini meal by themselves.

Including fats in our diet is also known to reduce mood swings and depression. Children who don't get enough omega-3 can develop learning disorders. Is your girlfriend giving you grief when she PMSes? Just buy her a flax seed supplement or gift her a monthly supply of nuts.

Excerpted from Don't Lose Your Mind, Lose Your Weight, with permission from the publishers, Random House India.

Got a question? Ask Rujuta Diwekar

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Also see: Meet the lady behind Kareena's size zero
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