Let's talk about dietary fats, or the fats that are in the foods that we eat. This has been such a huge topic of debate over the past 30 years, that I'm sure I'm going to offend somebody in the next four or five minutes. But I'm just going to tell you what I know. And hopefully give you some good common sense advice to help you navigate these waters. Okay first, I have to tell you that dietary fats are really important for the healthy growth and development of our children. They're especially important in brain development and development of the nervous system. They also help to protect and cushion vital internal organs, and the kind of fat under the skin called subcutaneous fat is both an important storage form of energy, and it also serves to insulate our children's bodies. In addition to that, when our children consume a meal that has a certain amount of fat in it. They're less likely to feel hungry soon after the meal, and it actually even helps regulate the blood sugar levels in our children, because foods that have a certain amount of fats in them will slow the speed at which glucose, or sugar is released into the blood. Over the past three decades, we've read a lot about the role that dietary fats might play in the development of heart disease, and specifically, there's been a lot of discussion about the role they might play in the build up of plaques in our arteries. And this led to a whole sort of fat free, low fat craze but we're seeing now is, firstly, that if we replace all fats in our diets with, let's say more sugar or more refined carbohydrates, that may also be contributing to arterial plaque. And that certain healthy fats, in the diet, may actually protect us from this kind of disease. So, let's look at the different kinds of dietary fats and see which ones might end up being better for us and for our children. So, we can divide dietary fats into two major categories. And I bet you've heard these terms. We usually divided them into saturated fats and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats get their name from the fact that the fatty acids in this kind of fat are very straight and flat so they can pack together quite densely and these kinds of fats usually end up being solids at room temperature. So the first thing that comes to mind, of course, is our good old friend, butter. And the other thing that people often thing of when they're talking about saturated fat, is red meat. Unsaturated fats can also be divided into two types. So we have, I'm going to call them natural kinds or naturally occurring unsaturated fats, and then we have what I'll call man-made unsaturated fats. So they exist the way they do because of the fact that we've altered them somehow. Naturally occurring unsaturated fats are found in oils, vegetable oils like Olive oil for example. We also see things like Avocados high in naturally unsaturated fat and nuts. The oils in nuts are also usually quite rich in unsaturated fats. The man-made fats that are unsaturated are found in things like margarine and even in, for example, oils that are reused and reheated as we see in french fry machines. These kinds of unsaturated fats are definitely less healthy for us and they're the ones that we've altered. And I'll show you how they've been altered in just a minute. So the fatty acids found in naturally unsaturated fats are kinked in a very specific way and that means they can't stack together as tightly as the saturated fatty acids. And so these kinds of fats tend to be the liquids at room temperature. When we chemically alter the fatty acids in unsaturated fats, like we do when we make margarine or when we fry french fries over and over again in the same oil, the kinks in these fatty acids end up looking really different and we end up with something called trans fat. Now these trans fats do two things in our bodies. Neither of which is very good for us. The first thing that they do is they increase the amount of what we'll call, bad cholesterol, or it's called LDL cholesterol, the kind that actually promotes those arterial plaques that we're so concerned about. And the other thing that trans fats do is that they reduce the good cholesterol in our bodies. The kind of cholesterol that is believed to be protective against these arterial plaques. And while saturated fats have also been shown to raise the amount of bad cholesterol in our bodies, they haven't been shown as much to lower the good cholesterol. Also, if we replace all of the saturated fat in our diets with foods that are high in refined or simple carbohydrates, things like sodas and white bread, and other processed foods, then this may also be contributing to the build up of arterial plaque. So the best advice, probably, is again going back to moderation. Eat small amounts of naturally occuring foods of all kinds with a focus on unsaturated, naturally occuring oils like those found in olive oil. And avocados and nuts and small amounts of saturated fat in our diet are probably okay as well.