Monday, January 14, 2008

Low Fat Food Not No Fat Food

by: Jenny Mathers

If you're "fat" and don't eat low fat food in public, do you get comments from others? Eating fat has become such an emotive thing to the point that when an overweight person eats a burger in public, fingers are pointed and heads are shaken.

Fat is not bad for you. That's right. I said it. Low fat is not the ultimate healthy food. If you can eat it in moderation, fat is not bad for you. In fact, fat plays an important role in the optimum functioning of your body. It cushion the body's major organs and transports vitamins A, D, E & K around your body.[1] Your body definitely needs fat.

The problem with fat is that fat also delivers over twice the kilojoules that protein or carbohydrates can per gram.

So the idea with fat, is to eat it in moderation. Eating healthily to lose weight can often mean that you have to eat low fat food in order to cut your calories, but it doesn't mean removing fat altogether from your diet.

So exactly how do you moderate your fat intake to healthy levels. Well, one way that you can do this is to look at the nutritional value of the meals you're eating. Even fast food restaurants these days are publishing the nutrition panels on their wrappers. So have a look, it's free.

If the nutrition panel states that the food contains more than 50 - 60 grams of fat, then it might be in your best interests to choose something else to eat. Around 50 - 60 grams of fat or 25 - 30% of your total daily caloric intake should be coming from fat. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that 20 - 35% of your calories should come from fat. They also state that the fats that you do eat need to be coming from poly or monounsaturated sources such as fish.

So by looking at the nutrition panel each time when you purchase food, you can eat low fat food and cut your fat intake to around 25 - 30% of your total intake while choosing to eat unsaturated fats from sources such as fish, nuts and vegetable oils such as olive oil.


[1] Saxelby, C (2002) Nutrition For Life Hardie Grant Books P. 18.

Date Written: 13th February 2006.

About The Author

My name is Jenny Mathers, I certainly hope that you've enjoyed this article about low fat food. Now go to part 2 of this article, where I give a mild fish curry recipe which contains only 3.61 grams of fat! I strive to research and write about the most reputable nutrition, weight loss and health information possible. You can also see my site here, where I strive to encourage all those wishing to lose weight to seek individual advice from a dietitian, doctor or health care professional.