Table of Contents:
- Low Fat Diet
- How does a low fat diet work?
- How many calories should be consumed per day on a low fat diet?
- How much fat can you eat, while still losing weight on a low fat diet?
- How fast can you lose weight on a low fat diet?
- What are the health risks of a low fat diet?
- Low Fat Foods
- Which foods will help lower high LDL cholesterol levels?
- Which foods should be avoided by people with high cholesterol?
- Which foods are low in cholesterol and saturated fats?
- How do foods lower cholesterol?
- A Low Fat Recipe
- Roasted Vegetable Salad
- Does avoiding foods with cholesterol mean you will have low cholesterol?
- Can a low fat diet cause constipation?
- What is the difference between a low fat diet and a low cholesterol diet?
- Which is better, a low fat diet or a low carb diet?
How does a low fat diet work?
It often seems that there are nearly as many diets on the market as there are dieters. While different diets work best for different people, there is a general consensus that a low fat diet is the optimal choice for those who want to lose weight and improve their health, particularly cardiovascular health.
With any weight loss diet, the key component is reducing calorie intake and increasing calories burned, creating a deficit situation where the body must begin to use energy that is stored as fat to conduct normal, daily body functions, as well as to supply energy for any increased physical activity.
One gram of protein or carbohydrate contains four calories; whereas, one gram of fat contains nine calories. Because fat is the most calorie-dense nutrient, lowering fat intake and focusing on consuming healthy fats is the simplest way to reduce caloric intake.
When it comes to heart and overall health, the types of fat consumed are also important. For example, moderate consumption of healthy fats, such as olive oil, canola oil and small amounts of nuts have positive, healthful effects; whereas, saturated fats and trans fats should be avoided.
How many calories should be consumed per day on a low fat diet?
The amount of calories you should consume each day depends on your gender, level of activity and current weight. According to the American Heart Association, females between the ages of 19 and 30 should consume 2,000 calories per day if sedentary, 2,000 to 2,200 if moderately active and 2,400 if they lead an active lifestyle.
Between the ages of 31 and 50, this decreases to 1,800 for sedentary women, 2,000 for those who are moderately active and 2,200 for active women. After the age of 51, recommended caloric intake lowers again to 1,600 for sedentary, 1,800 for moderately active and 2,000 to 2,200 for active women.
Men tend to require a higher daily caloric intake than women with men 19 to 30 needing 2,400 calories for a sedentary lifestyle, 2,600 to 2,800 for moderate levels of activity and 3,000 calories for active men.
Between the ages of 31 and 50, sedentary men need 2,200 calories, moderately active men require 2,400 to 2,600 calories and active men should consume between 2,800 to 3,000 calories.
After the age of 51, sedentary men require approximately 2,000 calories per day, moderately active men require 2,200 to 2,400 and active men should consume approximately 2,400 to 2,800 calories per day.
How much fat can you eat, while still losing weight on a low fat diet?
While some proponents of low fat diets recommend very low fat intake of under 10% of total calorie consumption, the most widely accepted range is 20% to 30% of total calories coming from fat.
Research shows that diets of this composition are easier for most people to follow and that people who follow a diet with this level of fat intake are more likely to experience long-term success at losing fat and maintaining a healthy weight. For someone who should consume 2,000 calories per day, this would mean between 44 and 67 grams of fat per day.
How fast can you lose weight on a low fat diet?
Losing weight on a low fat diet will naturally occur from reducing caloric intake and encouraging the body to use stored fat to meet energy requirements. Increasing physical activity will allow those on a low fat diet to experience faster weight loss.
While it is possible to lose significant weight quickly when following a low fat diet, most experts agree that the healthiest amount to lose is 1 to 2 pounds per week.
What are the health risks of a low fat diet?
When followed correctly, a low fat diet will reduce cardiovascular and overall health risks and has not been found to be associated with increased health risks. There are some fat-soluble vitamins that require a small amount of fat in order to be properly absorbed by the body; therefore, a no fat or seriously restricted low fat diet could inhibit absorption of these necessary vitamins.
A Low Fat Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Salad
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1 red pepper
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- Olive oil, salt and pepper as needed
- Red wine vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Core, seed and chop vegetables into bite-sized slices.
3. Lay vegetables in a single layer in a roasting pan.
4. Brush vegetables with approximately one tablespoon of olive oil.
5. Distribute crushed garlic over the vegetables.
6. Salt and pepper to taste.
7. Cover pan with foil and roast vegetables for 30-45 minutes (until tender).
8. Transfer to serving dish, along with cooking juices.
9. Mix one tablespoon olive oil and one tablespoon red wine vinegar and drizzle over vegetables.
10. Allow to cool and marinate for at least 4-5 hours in the refrigerator.
11. Serve with grilled poultry or fish and bread.
Can a low fat diet cause constipation?
When followed correctly, a low fat diet should not cause constipation. When dieters experience constipation, it is often due to insufficient water intake or cutting out fats to the point of deficiency of good, unsaturated fats that are essential to proper functioning of the body.
What is the difference between a low fat diet and a low cholesterol diet?
Low fat diets and low cholesterol diets go hand-in-hand in most cases. A low cholesterol diet alone would focus on limiting the consumption of or avoiding animal products, which are the primary source of cholesterol. A low fat diet, particularly a low fat Mediterranean diet focuses on incorporating good fats, such as healthy cooking oils, fish and nuts, and avoiding saturated fats.
Which is better, a low fat diet or a low carb diet?
Most mainstream health experts and organizations, such as the American Heart Association, the American Medical Association and the United States Department of Agriculture agree that a low fat diet is the better choice for most people.