Cor­rie star Cath re­veals how she lost five stone

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS -

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

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