Low Fat Diet Q & A
Answered By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD
My doctor has told me to eat a low-fat diet but I’m not really sure what this means. How much fat should I eat and is this total fat or saturated fat?
Assuming you’re a member of Weight Loss Resources, you simply need to look at your nutrition profile to discover how much fat you should be having each day. When doctors and dietitians recommend a low-fat diet, they generally mean cutting down on both the total amount of fat and saturated fat in the diet. For more advice on a diet low in fat and saturates see the answer to this question.
I’ve just joined WLR and have 4 stone to lose. I’m allowed 1,350 calories a day and the profile suggests I should be having 45g of fat a day. This seems an awful lot and I never reach it. On average I tend to have around 30g fat daily. Is this OK as I really don’t want to start having higher fat versions of my favourite foods?
Nutrition experts tend to agree that a moderately low-fat diet rather than a very low-fat diet is easier to stick with and just as healthy.
Diets that are extremely low in fat – where less than 20 percent of calories come from fat – tend to be too restrictive and boring for most people, with the result they give up easily. Plus, they may be lacking in essential fats as even foods rich in these good fats such as oily fish, nuts, seeds and oils, are limited. Furthermore, research shows a moderately low-fat diet, where 20 to 30 percent of calories come from fat, is more likely to keep the weight off in the long term.
For these reasons, Weight Loss Resources recommends that 30 percent of calories come from fat which, in your case, amounts to 45g of fat each day. A daily intake of around 30g of fat means on average, you’re getting 20 percent of calories from this nutrient. If you’re comfortable with this and don’t find your diet unpalatable or too restrictive, then it’s fine to stick with this. However, I suggest you don’t go any lower.
The best way to increase your fat intake slightly, is to include more nutritious nuts, seeds and oily fish rather than choosing higher fat versions of typical favourite foods like chocolate, crisps and biscuits.
You can follow a low fat diet using the nutrition database and food diary tools in Weight Loss Resources. Try it free for 24 hours.