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Believe it or not, fat is probably the most important element of your child’s diet. Let me explain why.

First, your neurones are largely made of fat. The long, fast ones are actually wrapped in fat too, to speed the connection. Multiple Sclerosis is an auto-immune attack on the cells providing that covering, known as Schwann Cells, so you can see how essential they are.

Indeed 60% of your brain dry weight is fat.

So it is literally impossible to be intelligent without a good source of suitable fats. The best things to eat for that are fish oils, omega oil rich plants and fatty meat. A very low fat diet can lead directly to learning difficulties.

You also need fat for energy. If you reduce the fat intake of a child, you will find they develop cravings for carbohydrates and especially sugars, to make up the deficit.

That would be OK as a diet choice… except that you tend to get spikes of glucose in the blood due to the carbohydrates. This leads the  body to release insulin to remove the excess glucose from your bloodstream by stuffing it into your fat cells. Often your glucose then will dip below the ideal, so you reach for the sugar again…

You see the cycle this causes.

The way not to feel hungry and tired, to stay slim and to keep a healthy brain is to eat plenty of protein, omega oils and animal fat. Seed oils (sunflower, rapeseed etc…) tend to be bad for you.

“BUT…” I hear you cry, “fat gives you heart attacks!”. You may be surprised to hear that the evidence for that is very weak. The relationship between heart disease and fat was proposed by Ancel Keys and has been largely discredited. Heart attacks are caused mainly by other things. The more likely cause is industrial pollutants, which tend to correlate with fat intake, because eating meat is expensive and thus takes place to a greater extent in industrialized nations.

Your level of blood cholesterol is a good indicator of your risk of heart disease because cholesterol is a repair chemical which is called for by damaged cells in your vascular system. Therefore, more cholesterol indicates more damage, which raises the likelihood of a blockage due to the repair mechanism.

I am not a nutritionist or a heart disease researcher, so you need to follow your own thinking on this. But I hope this has given you pause for thought and some lines of enquiry to make, at least.


David Morgan is CEO of Oxford Learning Solutions, publisher of the Easyread System. Easyread is an online course that helps children with dyslexia, auditory processing disorder, and highly visual learning styles improve their reading and spelling through short daily lessons. Find out more at or on Facebook at