So, I’m not a success with this restricted carbohydrate diet. But I’m not about to go onto a low-fat diet.

Why? Well, I can’t stick to this diet at present, so I don’t believe I’ll fare any better on another diet. I want the family to eat together, and my kids much prefer white rice, white bread, white pasta, to the wholewheat sort, so for them less calories from fat would lead to a higher intake of high-glycaemic-index carbohydrates. Overloading the body with high GI (glycemic index) carbohydrates makes the insulin system work hard, so I want to avoid training them to eat like that. They won’t eat brown pasta until they decide for themselves it’s healthy!

What else? I think I’m entering the ‘time of life’ (not to be confused with the time of my life) when middle-age spread is hard to fight. Might just have to try to hold back the tide rather than trying to shrink for a while… and maybe start another blog about that when I get further into the territory.

What I do need to do is to prioritise my fats. Here’s my plan: morning for me is the time to get those omega 3s in the door – it seems clear that if these guys have to ‘compete’ with too much omega 6, they get left outside. They share the same metabolic pathway, so morning is a good time – in go the omega 3s on an empty stomach.  My children are allowed a square of chocolate with their fish oil, so I make sure it’s good stuff with no vegetable oils in, just cocoa butter and milk fat.

I know I’ll get my essential omega 6s in the course of the day, and I’m trying to keep the ratio down to around 4:1 omega 6s to omega 3s. 10 to one is generally regarded as too high, so I’m aiming for 4:1 (opinion is divided on the perfect ratio, but it’s well below 10:1).

I prefer to get the omega 6s from seeds than from oils, for three reasons:

1) seeds are a food with other nutrients in them – these are lost in most oils in the processing.  (The exceptions are the cold-pressed oils).

2) Chewing seeds is a slower way of getting omega 6s – so I’m less likely to overdo it.  A spoon of sunflower seeds has a lot less omega 6 than a spoonful of sunflower oil.

3)  Oils often come as part of a food (lots of baked goods use them as they have a long shelf life). Or they are part of a fried food, such as potato crisps (chips).  In the UK, we haven’t banned trans fats yet.  So there’s a lot of label reading involved, as well as the hidden salt and sugar. Not my best food choices for every day.

So, today I ate a salad at a friend’s house with topped with lightly toasted seeds and a dribble of dressing.  Seeds are on my shopping list as my children like them too.  I baked some lightly in the oven with a sloosh of soysauce which dried to a salty, savoury speckle.

The great thing about my strategy is that the occasional eggy or even egg-and-bacon breakfast is fine as long as I choose the right fat to cook it in.  If I can avoid omega 6 at this time, I don’t interfere with my morning intake of omega 3s.

More on oils next time…