Different types of low-fat meals may include meals that may be low in various types of fats. For instance, some may be low in all fat, while other may also be low in saturated fat or trans fats. Some other low-fat meals may also be low in calories, although this certainly isn't always the case. There are also various dietary plans which may be used to help individuals lose weight, lower cholesterol or blood pressure, or increase overall health.
Low-fat meals became popular primarily due to the assumption that fatty food consumption results in weight gain. While high-fat meals can lead to health issues and excess weight, the low fat label doesn't necessarily mean healthy or low in calories. Even foods that are low in fat can cause weight gain if they are eaten in excess. In some cases, low-fat meals used for weight loss may even be harmful, because the body needs a certain amount of fat for proper function.
There are certain low-fat meals which can be eaten regularly without harmful effects. Meals low in saturated and trans fats are healthier than those with even moderate levels of these fats. They have been linked to heart disease, stroke, and other serious health conditions. To avoid consuming these types of fats in excess, it's important to eat lean meats and poultry, and to avoid heavily processed foods and snacks. Healthy fats, like those found in olive oil and avocados, can still be consumed in moderation.
Most low-fat feels that don't contain fat at all, or that contain very little, are usually comprised of plant foods. These include grains, vegetables, and fruits. Meals comprised mostly of vegetables are typically very low in fat and calories, while still being full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Many experts recommend eating primarily plant-based foods throughout the day.
Meals that are low in the "bad" forms of fat may still contain unsaturated fats. It's usually recommended that those who eat frequent low-fat meals consume weekly servings of fish, poultry, and lean meat. These foods provide adequate protein without increasing one's risk for heart disease and other health problems, assuming they are cooked without added oils or fats.