Low Fat Diets

Low Fat Diets

Low-fat diet study

According to conventional wisdom, the key to weight loss is reducing the amount of fat calories in your diet. Standard diet programs advocate 30 percent of calories from fat, but stringent weight-loss programs may restrict people to as little as 20 percent.

Recent research, however, suggests that the more moderate (and much more satisfying) approach is actually more effective: More people are able to lose weight and keep it off on a moderate-fat diet than on a very low-fat diet. In a study by Harvard Medical School researchers published in the International Journal of Obesity, only one in five participants stuck with a diet that restricted fat intake to 20 percent of its 1,200 to 1,500 daily calories; more than half stayed with the plan (and maintained a significant weight loss) when 35 percent of those calories came from fat.

Assuming the fats are the right kind (mono- and polyunsaturated, from sources like olive, canola, peanut, corn, and soybean oils; avocados, olives, and nuts; and fish), a moderate-fat diet can actually be healthier for your heart than an extremely low-fat regimen. That’s the good news from a study at Pennsylvania State University published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

SOURCE: Sunset Magazine, 2002

Anne’s Comment

First off, high protein diets seem to be much more conventional than low fat diets. Second, even if conventional diet wisdom does advocate low fat eating, it doesn’t suggest low-fat eating is the weight loss solution. Calories are still the key to weight loss – whether they come from fat or carbs. Meantime, fast-food restaurants continue to mushroom. Should we be telling people that fat is actually our friend?

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