Our easy diet plan and our guide to micronutrients and macronutrients show how simple math is used to determine how much Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat you should eat per day. I personally follow a balanced diet with macronutrient ratios of 40:40:20 or 40:30:30 (Carbohydrate to Protein to Fat), however, your needs may be different. That’s why we provide you with standardized diet plans for a low-carb diet, high protein diet, and this one for a low fat diet.
What is Dietary Fat?
When most people think of fat, they think of it simply as something bad. You may think of grease, oils, shortening, butter, and so on. While these are all great examples of Fats, they can also be a bit misleading.
As you know from our discussion of the importance of Carbohydrates, not all carbs are bad. The same is very much true of Fats. Fat is not only essential to your growth and development, but studies have shown that when you incorporate good fats into your diet, they help your body do a better job of absorbing nutrients from other foods you eat at the same time.
While Fats make it easy to overindulge in foods by making them really delicious, good fats also provide the added benefit of making you feel fuller for longer.
Good Fats vs. Bad Fats
Fats typically do not sound like something that would be good for you, but they can be when incorporated into your diet correctly. Not all sources of Fat are created equal. Most of the fat in your diet should come from good sources of fat that provide you with unsaturated fat (which is known to reduce risk of heart disease).
- Saturated fats – are often from meat products and will be of a more solid form.
- Unsaturated fats – are most often derived from from plant products, like olives or sunflower seeds
One of the more popular sources of healthy saturated fats nowadays is Coconut oil. It is unique in that the fat is mostly made up of medium chain triglycerides, versus other fats which have longer chains. This makes coconut oil recognized and used differently by the body than other fats, and most studies say, make it healthier.
Do I Need Fat in My Diet?
Everyone needs to have at least some fat in their diet. The key is to not have too much, and to try to choose your fats wisely. Having avocado in place of mayonnaise on a sandwich or lightly brushing your baking pan with melted coconut oil before roasting your meats are easy changes to make to bring healthier fats into your diet.
What is a Low-Fat Diet?
A low fat diet limits the amount of fat that you eat daily so that the body will turn to its pre-existing fat stores in order to burn them for fuel. Low fat diets are also a great way to help control cholesterol levels and keep your vascular system from building up plaque. A low fat diet is considered a healthy way to lose unwanted pounds and still not feel terribly restricted.
Low-Fat Diet: Foods to Avoid
- Cheese, most varieties are high in fat with few exceptions
- Deep fried foods, such as french fries and fried chicken
- Creamy soups or sauces
- Fatty meats like bacon, sausage, and ground beef
Low-Fat Diet: Foods to Eat
- Boneless, skinless chicken or turkey breast
- Lean fish or seafood
- Grains, including breads
Possible Side-Effects of Low-Fat Diet
Remember, fat does serve functions in the body, so removing it entirely or even too much from your diet could have possible negative effects. Some of these side effects include:
- Poor brain function, or feeling, “in the fog”
- Worse heart health
- Hormone imbalances
- More prone to depression or anxiety
- Higher risk for insulin resistance or diabetes
- Weight gain – watching only fats sometimes is not enough
Some of these are extremely bad side-effects, but when the low-fat diet is done correctly, the risks are greatly reduced. You do need to realize not to take things too far in order to maintain your health.
Is a Low-Fat Diet Right For Me?
How do you know if the Low-Fat Diet plan is the right one for you?
- There is often not a lot of calorie counting, however there is label reading involved as sometimes manufacturers will add in extra sugars in place of fats.
- Restrictions do include a lot of fatty meats, like hot dogs, bacon, salami, and bologna, but there are plenty of low-fat lean meats to choose from.
- If you enjoy eating a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables, breads, pastas, etc, you may prefer a low-fat diet to a low-carb diet.
Remember, no matter what diet you choose, at the end of the day if you want to lose weight, you have to eat less calories than you burn, so some of the burn comes from the fat already on your body.