One of the quickest and healthiest ways to reduce calories and lose weight is to cut back generally on calories especially on the fat, because fat carries a lot more calories than protein and carbohydrate. Eating a diet low in fat is an important step in keeping your heart and arteries in a tip-top shape too. The overall goal is to avoid excess fat, especially saturated fat. Certain fat are very good for you, the body cannot function without them, while some are very bad for the body. The simple steps below will guide you into choosing the right friendly fats more often
- Limit your total intake of fat to <30% of your total calories each day. This is about 45-65grams each day (from all your meals / snacks per day)
- Limit your intake of saturated fats to <10% of your calories each day. This is about 15-25grams each day.
- Choose foods with healthy fats, limit foods high in saturated fat, and avoid foods with trans fat.
- “Good” fats—monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats—lower disease risk. Foods high in good fats include vegetable oils (such as olive, canola, sunflower, soy, and corn), nuts, seeds, and fish. For example cook with canola oil, snack on nuts, have fish for dinner.
- “Bad” fats—saturated and, especially, trans fats—increase disease risk. Foods high in bad fats include red meat, butter, cheese, and ice cream, as well as processed foods made with trans fat from partially hydrogenated oil.
- Limit how often you have fats that are solid at room temperature and foods that contain them such as fatty cuts of meat. If you eat foods with harmful fats limit how much you eat of them.
The key to a healthy diet is to choose foods that have more good fats than bad fats—vegetable oils instead of butter, salmon instead of steak—and that don’t contain any trans fat.
The low-down on low-fat
“Low-fat,” “reduced fat,” or “fat-free” processed foods are not necessarily healthy. One problem with a generic lower-fat diet is that it prompts most people to stop eating fats that are good for the heart along with those that are bad for it. And low-fat diets are often higher in refined carbohydrates and starches from foods like white rice, white bread, potatoes, and sugary drinks.
- When food manufacturers take out fat, they often replace it with carbohydrate from sugar, refined grains, or starch. Our bodies digest these refined carbohydrates and starches very quickly, causing blood sugar and insulin levels to spike and then dip, which in turn leads to hunger, overeating, and weight gain.
- Over time, eating lots of “fast carbs” can raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes as much as—or more than—eating too much saturated fat.
So when you cut back on foods like red meat and butter, replace them with fish, beans, nuts, and healthy oils—not with refined carbohydrates.