Low fat diets are probably the first thing people think of in terms of weight loss as the assumption would be that low fat means healthy and losing weight. But you do still need some, if only a few, healthy fats in your diet to keep your system in good condition.
Most people with high cholesterol are told by doctors to adopt a low fat diet with plenty of exercise (at least two 20 minute brisk walks per day). Low cholesterol low fat diets, or TLC diets (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) are designed to reduce LDL, or the bad cholesterol in your system, by limiting the intake of bad fats and also sodium, dietary cholesterol and calories.
Example: An average height female, weighing around 126 lbs with little or no exercise should limit their calorie intake to 1600, and no more than 50 grams of fat and 10 grams of saturated fat.
An example of a low fat ideal breakfast for instance for those following a low cholesterol low fat diet would be:
- Oatmeal, with banana or blueberries
- Fresh orange juice and coffee or green tea
This is virtually fat-free and contains no dietary cholesterol – it is also packed with soluble fibre, which aids in lowering LDL. So you have a doubly whammy.
Low carb low fat diet plans are a different matter. They tend to be based on a high protein intake and a highly reduced carb intake. On this low fat diet, you would notice a steady decrease in weight, increased energy and would tend to feel a lot healthier. However, high protein can have side effects in the early stages, such as dizziness and headaches, but these do pass. You can gain a lot of protein from chicken, turkey and other lean meats and vitally, and probably the best produce to consume is fish.
There are plenty of vegetables that also do the trick, such as broccoli, spinach and leafy greens. However, starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, parsnips and swede are high in carb content, so should be avoided or limited to very small quantities.
More About Low Carb Diets.
Low carb diets promote a steady and healthy weight loss with other benefits such as lowering blood pressure, rationalising blood sugar levels and also encouraging HDL (good cholesterol). On a low carb low fat diet, you also feel fuller longer, which is always a welcome assistance to any diet. If you are unsure, most doctors’ surgeries or health centres will have leaflets describing low fat diet recipes and ingredients that are good for you to use.
An ideal evening meal for those following a low carb low fat diet would be:
- Grilled or oven baked salmon/white fish with herbs or
- Grilled lime and ginger chicken breast
- Huge mixed salad with everything you can think of or
- A selection of green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, green beans
- Fresh berries with 1 tbsp 0% fat greek Yoghurt
It is still important to watch your ‘calorie’ intake at the same time. It probably also goes without saying that exercise is important for a healthy body and system. For instance, that sneaky glass of white wine that you feel you thoroughly deserve has only a trace of carbs – but can include up to 120 calories, depending on the type of wine you drink. So take it steady! It also goes without saying that a pint of beer is a danger zone in terms of carbs!
If entering into a low fat diet of any kind, a low fat high fibre diet would also be one to consider. Fibre is exceptionally important for the stomach and bowels and assists in levelling your blood sugar.
There are many low fat diet recipe books and recipes accessible via the internet or books and ebooks, but it will not take you long to work things out for yourself, as a low fat diet is pretty straightforward.
Low Fat Diets vs Low Carb Diets?
The answer to this question really does depend on your state of health and what you are really trying to achieve. If you have no pre-existing medical conditions a low fat diet would be good for your body and for losing weight at a gentle pace, but if you have, for instance Type 2 Diabetes, then a low carb diet coupled with low fat would be the more medically sensible to treat all your reasons for losing weight and cutting out carbs, which struggle to be broken down if you have diabetes as a condition which affects your blood sugar levels. It is always best to check with your health professional as to exactly what you should be eating, and when. They can provide you with a low fat diet plan or suggest a sensible low fat low carb diet for you. If in any doubt, you can always consult a qualified nutritionist.
To sum up:
Other than generally losing weight –
- Low fat diets are generally acceptable to all body types and medical conditions
- Low carb low fat diets – good for diabetes sufferers and obesity
- Low cholesterol low fat diets – again good for diabetes sufferers, high cholesterol, heart conditions, respiratory problems caused by obesity
- Low fat high fibre diets – particularly good for those with stomach or bowel problems, regulating blood sugar levels (the fibre binds fat like no other foodstuff and expels it from the body)
Remember, it is wise to consult your medical professional before entering into any form of dietary plan. Everyones’ body and metabolism works at a different rate, so to a certain degree it can be trial and error in the initial stages of embarking on a low fat diet.
Lastly, when buying in a supermarket – always check the labels of products carefully – low fat symbols or words, frequently plastered all over packaging, can frequently hide the truth about what else is in the dish. Equally so, products advertising ‘low cal’ or ‘low calorie’ can also hide a multitude of other sins, so caution is necessary.