Challenges with Low-Fat Diets

Friday, September 18, 2009 0:58
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J0422208 Recently a reader responded to one of my blogs by saying there are three types of diets that don’t work. This week I would like to clarify his points.
He said that low-fat food plans do not work. The reader made some very accurate points, however I believe his statements do need more explanation. He said that  “Low fat foods have been popular for more than 15 years, but yet our society is getting more overweight as each year passes.” How true, but let’s not blame it all on the low-fat diets either. There are numerous reasons why the obesity rate has increased: bigger serving sizes in restaurants, more processed foods than ever, and the addition of  the stealth high fructose corn syrup among other factors.
When everything went low-fat, carbohydrate consumption increased because of the notion it was fat free. Many people assume just because a product is low-fat that it can be consumed freely. It still may contain the same amount of calories because the product usually “trades” fat for other ingredients that are just as fattening.
We need a certain amount of fat in our diets. Most health authorities suggest consuming no more than 20%-30% of our total diet in fat. And, yes there are a lot of new thoughts regarding fat but do note that they are still calorie dense so if you are counting calories the fat calories can add up fast if you don't pay attention. (One little teaspoon of fat has 50 calories.) I  promote more of the health enhancing  monounsaturated fats and Omega-3 fats.  A small amount of saturated fat is fine too, as long as it’s not excessive. We all should know that trans fats are the real "bad guys" so consume none or as little as possible of these fats.
Lastly, a problem with diets too low in fat is that you may not feel satisfied and end up being hungry so you can easily self-sabotage your dieting efforts. When you do a food search, Nutrition Data allows you to check out all of the above particulars when it comes to your fat intake, even the satiety levels of foods. 
Later this week I'll discuss low-calorie and low-carb diets.

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