Is “Low Fat” the Answer?
When the low fat diet trend first burst onto the scene, many people thought it was the answer to all of their weight loss problems. Grocery stores began filling shelves with low fat and fat free items. However, many of these fat free products have been filled with sugar and/or salt to replace the flavor lost when the fat was removed. Regardless of what you’re eating, it comes down to if you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. Even from seemingly “safe” foods like fat free items.
Choose real foods versus manufactured “low fat” or “fat free” items. Vegetables and fruits are always a better choice instead of “fat free” potato chips. They have no redeeming value! Steer clear of items such as dairy foods (whole milk, ice cream, creams) fatty red meats & processed meats such as salami, sausage & hot dogs, cheese and egg yolks. There are many more healthier items to fill your plate and body with that will have you both feeling and looking better! Try fruits & vegetables, fish & shellfish, cereals, rice & pasta. When eating out, avoid catch phrases such as battered, creamed, au gratin, scalloped, breaded.
Good terms include au jus, poached, steamed, baked, etc. At home, experiment with grilling & broiling and using different spices to flavor food instead of fats. Another culprit is salad dressing. A salad always sounds like a “safe” bet. Until you ladle on globs of full fat dressings. A typical 2-tablespoon serving contains 145 calories and 15 g of fat. Ninety-four percent of those calories come from fat! Chose a low fat dressing, or keep it even simpler with a splash of flavored vinegar or lemon juice.
However, caloric value of any diet is the single most important factor for weight loss. A gram of fat contains more than twice as many calories as a gram of protein or carbohydrate. It’s easy to see why a low fat diet is good for weight loss. A little less fat means a lot less calories. Plus the fact that most people eat far more fat than is good for their waistline or their health. If you reduce your calorie intake by 300 calories a day and increase your activity to burn 200 extra calories per day, you can expect a steady weight loss of approximately one pound per week.
In addition to helping you lose weight by using calories on more filling foods, following a low-fat diet can help you ward off serious medical conditions, including heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes.