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What is a Low Fat Diet Plan?

By Bethany Keene
Updated May 17, 2024
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A low fat diet plan is an eating plan that seeks to reduce fat in the diet as much as possible. Usually, a low fat diet plan attempts to eliminate all saturated fats from the diet, known as the "unhealthy" fats, that can increase cholesterol and clog the arteries. A diet plan such as this is generally undertaken for the purpose of weight loss, and may or may not be recommended by a doctor or nutritionist.

Intended to eliminate the fattiest foods from the diet, a low fat diet plan works with the theory that it will encourage the body to burn fat stores and promote weight loss. Some experts believe that low fat diet plans are effective weight loss tools, while others feel that they may be effective in the short run but are difficult to maintain over time, and that when normal foods are introduced back into the diet, the weight will be gained again. A diet plan with low fat foods is fairly easy to plan, however.

There are many prepackaged foods at the grocery store available in reduced fat or fat free versions that can easily become part of a low fat diet plan. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are also often part of a low fat diet. Lean meats such as fish or chicken are often included, while meats higher in fat such as beef and pork are avoided.

Some people develop a specific low fat diet plan to follow for each meal, where meals, snacks, and desserts are planned out in advance. Other simply try to eliminate fatty foods from the diet without trying to follow a rigorous plan. A nutritionist or a doctor, for instance, may be able to help a patient to plan a specific day-by-day eating schedule for the purpose of improving a medical condition, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes.

There are some downsides to a low fat diet plan. First, the body needs a certain amount of fat to function, so it is important to still consume sources of "healthy," unsaturated fat, such as the fat that is found in avocados. Secondly, some people eat a low fat diet and forget about other potentially negative ingredients in the food, such as excessive sugar or carbohydrates, both of which can contribute to weight gain. It is important for dieters to consider all aspects of nutrition, not just fat.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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