By You Desk
Tue, 02, 24

This week Zainab Sarwar, a Dubai-based nutritionist, explains the crucial role of healthy fats in supporting metabolism and promoting weight loss in women over 40. Read on…



As the body undergoes age-related changes after forty including hormonal shifts and a natural decline in muscle mass, incorporating the right types of fats into the diet can have several beneficial effects through various mechanisms. Read on…

Satiety and reduced cravings: Firstly, healthy fats, such as monounsaturated fats found in avocados, olive oil, and nuts, contribute to satiety. Including these fats in meals helps keep individuals feeling full and satisfied, reducing the likelihood of overeating or succumbing to unhealthy snack choices. This can be particularly beneficial for weight management, as it supports better portion control and helps regulate overall calorie intake.

Zainab Sarwar
Zainab Sarwar

Insulin sensitivity: Healthy fats play a significant role in insulin sensitivity. Improved insulin sensitivity is associated with better blood sugar control, which can be crucial for women over 40, as insulin resistance tends to increase with age. By promoting better insulin function, healthy fats contribute to more stable blood sugar levels, reducing the likelihood of excess glucose being stored as fat.

Metabolic support: Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, also contribute to metabolic health. They have been shown to enhance the efficiency of fat-burning processes in the body and can help regulate the storage and utilisation of fats. This can be particularly beneficial for women over 40 who may experience a natural slowing of metabolism.

Hormonal balance: Healthy fats support hormonal balance, which is essential for weight management. Hormones like oestrogen and progesterone influence metabolism, and imbalances can contribute to weight gain. Including good fats in the diet provides the building blocks for hormone production and helps maintain a healthier hormonal environment.

Fat-soluble vitamin absorption: Furthermore, these fats contribute to the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), which are essential for various bodily functions, including metabolism. Ensuring adequate intake of healthy fats helps maximise the absorption of these vitamins, supporting overall metabolic processes.

Lean muscle preservation: As individuals age, there is a natural decline in muscle mass. Including healthy fats in the diet can contribute to maintaining lean muscle tissue, which is crucial for sustaining a healthy metabolism. Preserving muscle mass helps the body burn more calories at rest, aiding in weight management

Diverse nutrient Intake: Healthy fats often come from nutrient-dense sources. Including a variety of these fats ensures you’re getting essential nutrients. Sometimes, nutrient deficiencies can hinder weight loss progress, and diversifying your nutrient intake can help overcome plateaus.

Psychological well-being: The inclusion of healthy fats adds flavour and variety to your meals. This can positively impact your relationship with food, making the weight-loss journey more sustainable and enjoyable. Psychological factors play a significant role in breaking through plateaus by maintaining motivation and commitment.

Adherence to sustainable eating patterns: Healthy fats can be part of a balanced and sustainable eating pattern. Rather than extreme, short-term diets, a sustainable approach is more likely to lead to long-term success in overcoming plateaus and maintaining weight loss.

Breaking through plateaus on scale: Remember, the key is moderation and balance. While healthy fats offer numerous benefits, overall calorie intake still matters for weight loss. Pay attention to portion sizes and ensure that your overall diet aligns with your weight loss goals. Additionally, staying physically active and incorporating strength training can complement the effects of healthy fats in breaking through plateaus. It’s crucial to highlight the importance of choosing the right sources of fat. Whole, nutrient-dense foods like avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish provide a range of health benefits. In contrast, processed and trans fats found in many processed foods can have detrimental effects on metabolic health.

It’s important to note that the quality of fats matters. Opting for sources of healthy fats from whole, unprocessed foods is key. Processed and trans fats found in many convenience foods can have adverse effects on health and should be minimised.

In conclusion, incorporating healthy fats into the diet is essential for women over 40 aiming for weight loss. These fats contribute to feelings of fullness, support metabolic function, improve insulin sensitivity, aid in hormonal balance, facilitate vitamin absorption, and help preserve lean muscle mass - all of which are crucial aspects of a successful weight management strategy during this life stage.

Zainab Sarwar can be reached out for a customised diet therapy programme at