Before the low-carb boom almost entirely took over the dieting world, low-fat played the starring role among those wanting to lose weight. But how helpful is a low-fat diet?
As the name suggests, a low-fat diet is all about low-fat food. Instead of high-fat sausage and fries with mayo, tofu or fish and jacket, potatoes with herb quark are on the diet plan.
What Do Low-Fat Diets Promise?
The primary purpose of reducing fat intake is to make it easier to lose weight. Since fat has the highest energy content among the macronutrients, the low-fat concept promises that overweight people can eat more for the same amount of calories. This is intended to support the feeling of satiety at the same time.
But according to supporters, a low-fat diet can do more than just shed pounds: people with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes and hypertension ( high blood pressure ) should benefit from a low-fat diet plan.
In addition, permanently more conscious handling of high-fat foods is promised. After a healthy, feel-good weight has been reached, a low-fat diet is also recommended as an ideal principle for maintaining weight permanently.
Impact Of Low Fat On Metabolism
In the context of a conventional diet with a “normal” fat content, dietary fat serves as an essential supplier of energy. At the same time, the carbohydrates consumed are preferably stored as fat tissue – under the influence of insulin release. If there is an excess of energy, the dietary fat is also created as storage fat.
On the other hand, the intake of fat is restricted in the sense of a low-fat diet; the carbohydrates must ensure the body’s energy requirements; they are therefore not stored as depot fat, or to a significantly lesser extent. Dietary protein consumed simultaneously is converted into muscle protein, which increases the basal metabolic rate. The motto is: the higher the basal metabolic rate, the more calories are burned even while sleeping.
The Basic Principle Of Low-Fat Diets
The focus of low-fat diets is limited fat intake. In contrast to low-carb diets, the fat content of the food is reduced following the background. While carbohydrates and protein provide comparatively little, only 4.1 kilocalories per gram, the same amount of fat contains more than 9.3 kilocalories, twice as much energy.
The respective variant decides how much fat can be consumed per day with low fat. There is no single definition, but most low-fat diets usually have a fat intake of 30 to 60 grams of fat.
Attention: The recommended fat intake for a low-fat diet is often not expressed in grams, but as in the “Low Fat 30” variant in so-called energy percentages
With the “Low Fat 30” diet, up to 30 per cent of the calories (energy per cent) can come from fat. This information is initially less tangible but quite understandable: The concept of energy percentages can be illustrated if you look at the recommendations for fat intake
The EDGE recommends a fat intake of 30 per cent energy. This means that assuming an average calorie requirement of 2,000 kilocalories, your daily calorie intake should be about 30 percent fat — about 60 grams.
However, things are different: the actual fat intake is often 100 to 150 grams.
How Does The Low Fat 30 Diet Work?
The most popular form of a low-fat diet is the “Low Fat 30” concept, based on general recommendations for healthy eating.
The 30 percent rule applies here: Whole foods with a maximum fat content of 30 per cent are on the green list, caution should be exercised with foods with higher fat content. High-fat foods are not entirely banned but should remain the exception.
A daily fat intake of 50 grams has prevailed to give a uniform recommendation. If necessary, this value can be adjusted to the individual energy requirement.
Plant-based foods such as vegetables, whole grain products, fruit, legumes and rice form the basis of a low-fat diet. Potatoes, low-fat dairy products and lean meat also complement the concept.
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