What Is a Low Fat Diet?

Many people think that to lose weight, the less fat you consume, the faster you lose weight. While it is good to avoid excessive fat in your diet, a healthy diet needs to have some fat in it. It is important to know that dietary fat is needed for good health, as fats supply energy and essential fatty acids, in addition to supplying fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. It is also important to know the difference between bad fat which you need to avoid and good fat which helps you stay healthy.

Definition of a Low Fat Diet

According to the US Department of Agriculture or USDA, a low-fat diet, as the name implies, is a diet that consists of little fat, especially saturated fat and cholesterol, which is thought to lead to increased blood cholesterol levels and heart disease risk.

Health Benefits of a Low Fat Diet

In recent years, the exact health benefits of a low-fat diet have been debated. A 2006 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association argued that a low-fat diet did not reduce the incidence of breast cancer. However, this study was criticized by several epidemiologists for its lack of validity (see “Criticisms” in the Women’s Health Initiative article).

Is a Low Fat Diet the Best for Weight Loss?

A 2002 Cochrane Review found low-fat diets to be no more effective than other weight loss diets in achieving lasting weight loss.