Corrie star Cath reveals how she lost five stone
I KNOW all too well how hard it is when you’re trying to lose weight.
When I was 17, long before I was on Coronation Street, I was almost 15 stone and thought a healthy meal was a large bowl of pasta.
I took control of my weight, and I slowly and steadily lost more than five stone.
Along the way, I learned to understand just how important a healthy, balanced diet is. It can be confusing if you’re trying to lose a few pounds.
One in four people in Britain is obese and it’s estimated that by 2050 half the population could be obese.
Fat has often been blamed for Britain’s battle with the bulge. So, when ITV’s Tonight programme asked me to investigate the issue for a show, I looked at the role of fat in our diet and whether it harms or helps us. What I found made me wonder whether we should change our thinking.
When you look into which types of fat are good for us and which we should avoid, the advice is confusing.
Sometimes we’re told butter is better, the next day the message is to eat low-fat spread. Most of us are aware that some fats – in fish oils, for example – are good for us.
But everyone thinks the big no-no is saturated fat – full-fat milk, butter and cheese. But are they really that bad?
I spoke to dietitian Nichola Ludlam-Raine, who explained there are three groups of fats we need to eat – monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and, in some foods, saturated.
Avocados, nuts, olive oil and eggs are good sources of monounsaturated fat, while oily fish, pumpkin seeds and walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids.
These are fats that our body can’t produce, but which we need to eat for a healthy heart.
But the most dangerous type of fat – trans fat – has been linked to a substantial increase in the risk of heart disease.
Unlike other countries, the UK has not banned trans fats, since the nation’s average consumption is low. But some independent restaurants and takeaways still use oils with substantial amounts of trans fats to fry food.
The amount of food you eat – healthy or not – has a huge impact on your weight. In 2013, the British Heart Foundation found that most portion sizes have ballooned in the past 20 years.
Nichola’s advice is not to ditch the dairy, but be wary. She says: “If you’re filling a third of your plate with green vegetables or salad, a third with carbohydrates such as pasta, potatoes, and a third with proteins such as meat, fish, lentils, then you’ve got a really balanced plate.”
Cath Tyldesley, right, and dietician Nichola Ludlam-Raine. Below: Cath before she lost weight