HealthNotes

HealthNotes

Healthnotes offers comprehensive, science-based health and lifestyle information. Written with you in mind, Healthnotes answers the most commonly asked questions with credible, easy-to-understand information — edited by physicians who review over 550 scientific and medical journals to keep content current, factual, and balanced.

Low-Fat Diet

Also indexed as:Fat (Low) Diet
Low-Fat Diet: Main Image

The Basics

A low-fat diet is usually used to help with weight loss or weight maintenance, and prevention and treatment of heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes. Many low-fat diets are also vegetarian, although anyone can follow a low-fat diet, whether or not they are vegetarian.

  • There are many different kinds of low-fat diets. The most general guidelines are to keep your fat intake at 20 to 30% of your daily calories, and saturated fat to 10% or less of your daily calories.
  • Avoid sources of hidden fats by reading the nutrition facts panel on packaged foods to find out the total amount of fat per serving. Steer clear of highly processed low-fat or fat-free foods, which might have as many calories as the regular-fat version, and can lead to weight gain, even though they are labeled as “low fat.”

Low-fat = lower on the food chain. Emphasize whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and avoid higher fat dairy and meat products. See our articles on the Dean Ornish Diet and the Pritikin Diet Program for more low-fat information.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

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