Low-Fat Diet : Should You Be Following It?

A low-fat diet is the one that restricts your intake of calories received from fats in your food. Depending upon your age, levels of activity and metabolism, the daily intake of calories should generally be 2,500 calories for men and 2,000 calories for women. Now, if you are consuming more than the recommended calories daily, it will make you gain weight, which in turn may lead to the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes and atherosclerosis due to factors like insulin resistance. In such a case, you might get a recommendation of following a low-fat diet, as then you will be cutting down on the consumption of calories. Read on and discover more about the low-fat diet to know if you should be adopting it.

What is Low-fat Diet?

The low-fat diet, as its name suggests, reduces your intake of fat with the inclusion of low-fat foods in your dietary plan. Along with including low-fat foods in this diet, you may also adopt low-fat cooking techniques. The low-fat foods are those that source 30 percent of their total calorie content from fats. So, while following the low-fat diet, your foods must serve 3 grams of fat per 100 calories in one serving. 

Lowering the intake of fat might prove beneficial because the calories received from fat are higher per gram as compared to those received from proteins and carbohydrates. You get 9 calories per gram from fat and 4 calories per gram from protein and carbohydrates individually.

According to the dietary guidelines from the World Health Organization and the Dietary Reference Intakes, your daily intake of fats should be between 20% and 35% of total calories. 

What are the Best Known Low-fat Foods?

There is absolutely no shortage when it comes to low-fat foods. You can choose to include the following options in your low-fat diet.

  • Whole-grain foods including high-fiber pasta, bread, and rice
  • Fresh vegetables 
  • Fruits
  • Lean Meats, white fish and egg whites
  • Low-fat dairy such as skimmed or fat-free milk 
  • Beans and Legumes

Which Fatty Foods to Skip in a Low-fat Diet?

Any junk food that we have these days can be categorized as fatty foods. The following are some super fatty foods that are quite tempting but should be strictly avoided.

  • Popcorn with butter
  • Fried chips
  • Cheese
  • Ice cream
  • French fries
  • Salad dressings

How a Low-fat Diet is Advantageous?

Fat is an important part of your diet. But, since fat is further categorized as saturated fat and unsaturated fat, there is more to this. The consumption of saturated fat might raise the risk of coronary heart disease. There are also trans fats in the form of hydrogenated fats that are used for increasing shelf life and improve the taste of processed foods. These unhealthy fats are also considered to pose some health risks such as cardiovascular diseases. 

As opposed to these ‘bad’ fats, unsaturated fats are considered to be healthy. Unsaturated fats are further classified as monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, including Omega-3 fatty acids that are known to lower the risk of chronic diseases upon consumption. 

Following a low-fat diet that has a good balance of nutrient-rich protein, carbohydrate, and good fat sources might also help you in losing weight. As you will be reducing your intake of fat, you will be reducing your intake of calories, which may ultimately result in weight loss. 

Also, a low-fat diet might not only benefit you in losing weight but it might also help in lowering the risk of pancreatitis

What are the Disadvantages of a Low-fat Diet?

There are a number of low-fat foods that might actually be unhealthy for you, thanks to the large quantity of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients added to it. Such products include low-fat yogurt, muffins, cookies, salad dressings and flavored coffee drinks. The high sugar content in these foods may lead to chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Vitamins like A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble vitamins. In other words, you need fat for properly absorbing these vitamins. Following a very low-fat diet, you might be at a disadvantage of not being able to process vitamins A, D, E and K. 

Lastly, according to a study, very low-fat diets are usually less palatable. This might make it quite difficult to follow a low-fat diet for a longer time.   

Conclusion: Should you Follow the Low-fat Diet?

If your diet runs high on fats then it will eventually lead to weight gain with the higher consumption of calories. So, it is essential to follow a balanced diet that maintains a good proportion of carbs, proteins and fats. With a balanced healthy diet, you may not even require to keep a check on your intake of fat. Also, it isn’t enough to just keep a check on the fat intake. While limiting your fat consumption, if it is getting replaced by sugars or other unhealthy ingredients then you might not see satisfactory results. In the end, it is the calories that you need to keep an eye on.  

About the Author : Ketki H is a wandering soul who loves travelling solo, and firmly believes in enjoying the journey rather than hurrying to the destination. Although a graduate in Mechanical Engineering, she took to writing for reaching the masses.

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