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Diets » Low Fat Diet
 

Low Fat Diet

Introduction: Low Fat Diet

There are many versions of a low fat-diet. Diets that get zero to 19% of their calories from fat are considered very low-fat diets. These include the Scarsdale Diet and the Hip and Thigh Diet. Diets that get 20-30% of their calories from fat are considered low-fat diets. These include Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, The Rice Diet, and the Three Hour Diet. Recommendations of these diets vary widely, and there is a continuing debate amongst various health professionals and groups as to how much fat is needed to maintain health and a healthy weight. However, there is general agreement that decreasing bad fats, such as trans fats, cholesterol, and saturated fats, and increasing good fats, such as Omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats, are important to good health and to weight control. In addition, current research is demonstrating that excessive calorie intake, and not just fat, is responsible for weight gain. Credible low-fat diets encourage a well balanced diet that includes unprocessed fruits, vegetables, 100% whole grains, low-fat dairy products, plant proteins (i.e. beans, tofu) and lean meats and fish. Because some fat in the diet is necessary for proper functioning of the body, good low-fat diets should encourage the use of healthy fats, such as those form olive oil and Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and flax seed. They also restrict or eliminate foods high in saturated fats, trans fats, processed "white" grains that are not 100% whole grain, and sugar. Credible diets also do not promote or encourage rapid weight loss, generally considered more than one to two pounds per week. For the best chance of safely losing excessive weight and keeping it off, low-fat diets should also include components that address exercise and healthy lifestyle changes.

An extremely low-fat or no-fat diet is unhealthy and can be dangerous. Fats supply energy and essential fatty acids and promote the absorption of some fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. Current research has found that a deficiency in essential fatty acids can raise cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. Healthy low-fat diets should include unsaturated fats and minimize saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol. This helps to decrease the risk for a vascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke, metabolic syndrome, and some forms of cancer. All diets have the potential to be harmful for some people, so consultation with a health care provider before starting a diet plan and exercise program is recommended.

Low Fat Diet: Similar Diets

Other diets similar to Low Fat Diet include:

Conditions Associated with Low Fat Diet

Conditions associated with Low Fat Diet include:

Foods Excluded Or Restricted From Low Fat Diet

The following foods may be restricted or excluded from Low Fat Diet:

  • Canned and packaged foods, unless marked low/no saturated fats, cholesterol, and trans fats
  • Gravies
  • Sauces
  • Snack foods
  • Chips
  • Crackers
  • Cake
  • Pie
  • Meats high in fat and saturated fat/cholesterol
  • Bacon
  • Brisket
  • Hot dogs
  • Sausage
  • Duck
  • Egg yolks
  • Butter
  • Lard
  • Shortening
  • Trans fats
  • Hydrogenated vegetable oil
  • Tropical oils
  • Coconut oil
  • Palm oil
  • Cream
  • Whole milk dairy products
  • Cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Foods made with processed carbohydrates that are not 100% whole wheat or grain
  • White flours
  • White breads
  • Sugary cereals
  • Cereals made for processed grains
  • Pop/soda that contains sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • Baked goods
  • Fried foods
  • Fast foods
  • Liver
  • Organ meats

Foods Focused On For Low Fat Diet

The following foods may be focused on as part of Low Fat Diet:

  • Fresh fruits
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Lean and trimmed meats, not fried or sautéed
  • Skinless chicken
  • Lean cuts of beef
  • Fresh fish
  • Unsaturated vegetable oils
  • Canola oil
  • Olive oil
  • Corn oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Skim milk
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Tofu
  • Low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese and other cheeses
  • Low-fat or fat-free yogurt
  • Salt-free seasonings
  • 100% whole wheat or whole grain carbohydrates
  • 100% whole wheat or whole grain breads
  • 100% whole wheat pasta
  • 100% whole wheat or whole grain cereals
  • Brown rice

Low Fat Diet: Potential Risks Or Complications

The following are potential risks or complications of the diet (Low Fat Diet):

  • Essential fatty acid deficiency
  • Deficiency of essential fatty acids can raise cholesterol and the risk of heart disease
  • An unbalanced low-fat diet that is too restrictive in calories may result in
  • Muscle weakness
  • Ketoacidosis - a condition in which a severe restriction of calories or carbohydrates leads to dangerously high levels of acids called ketones that build up in the blood and can poison the body.
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Osteoporosis
  • Weight loss diets not recommended for pregnant or nursing women

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