Will a low-fat diet help you lose weight?
Just how effective are low-fat diets in keeping the extra weight off and in maintaining your good health? You will be surprised to know that low-fat diets really do not do much in helping people lose weight. To understand why, you need to know that fat does not really play a huge role in getting us sick and that there are certain fats that the body needs to function well.
The Supposed Role of Fat in Promoting Disease
A ten-year study on the effects of a low-fat diet among 49,000 American women in their menopausal years showed that sticking to a low-fat diet does not really do anything to bring down risks for stroke, heart disease, breast cancer or colorectal cancer, as compared to diets with a high fat content. The results of this study are definitely shocking, as it is generally believed that we can avoid heart disease and various types of cancer if we stay away from fatty food.
Another shocking result of that test is that a high-carbohydrate and low-fat diet will not spike up the triglycerides in the body; thus, such a diet will not cause you to develop diabetes. In addition, while fat has twice as much calorie per gram as carbohydrates and protein, a low-fat diet does not necessarily help in losing weight.
However, the study does prove one thing that people already know in general: It is still not healthy to indulge in fatty food. Diets that are high in trans-fat and saturated fat will still raise cholesterol levels and boost your chances of developing heart disease.
Eating Fat in Moderation
The best way to deal with this issue is to eat the right kind of fatty foods and to eat these fatty foods in moderation. To learn what kinds of fatty food you should eat and how much of them you should consume daily, you should ask your doctor.
Your body needs fatty acids, particularly the Omega-3 group, to function properly. You should, however, stick to your daily recommended intake of fat – not more and not less than that. The daily recommended fat intake is generally 20% of the total calories that you need to consume daily.
If you are heavyset and want to cut back on your fat intake, you should not cut back more than 15% of your normal consumption. Also, avoid saturated fat because this will raise your cholesterol levels and put you at risk for heart disease. Followers of the Atkins diet actually have this problem. They certainly do lose weight by following the Atkins program, but the high-fat content of the food they eat pull their cholesterol levels up really high.
If you really want to cut back on fatty foods considerably, you should make sure that you are still consuming fatty acids from fish. You need these essential fatty acids because they actually prevent heart disease. You should always strike for a balance when you decide whether to eat fatty foods or not. Whether you choose to fatty food or not, eating too much or too little will cause trouble for your heart and your life.