Are Low Fat Diets Hazardous to Your Health?
If you want to lose weight, you may be tempted to think that the way to go is to reduce the fat in your diet. After all, if you have extra fat on your body, then it only makes sense that you would want to reduce your fat consumption. There is a degree of truth in this thought if you are consuming a high-fat, high-calorie diet. However, this is only one narrow aspect of the weight loss picture.
You're Body Needs Fat
Your body needs a certain amount of fat to function correctly. Here is the crux of the problem. When you intensely restrict your fat intake, your body responds by, in a sense, panicking. There is a built in evolutionary defense mechanism that essentially states, "Oh no there must be some sort of famine or shortage of food, quick hold on to every fat cell we've got!!" Yes, in a cruel twist of fate, when you restrict your fat intake too much, your body "freaks out."
Some Fats are In Fact Good for You
Further complicating the issue of low fat diets is the fact that many fats are actually quite healthy and good for you. Of course, saturated fats and the fat you will find in processed foods and fast foods are not healthy choices. Healthy fats come in the form of avocados, nuts, seeds, and the essential fatty acids one can find in fish like wild Alaskan salmon and sardines. These healthy fats also have vitamins, minerals and scores of antioxidants and even anticancer and disease fighting compounds.
Polyunsaturated fat found in plant-based foods also has been shown in studies to improve blood cholesterol levels. They can reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. By eliminating them from your diet, you are doing your body a significant disservice.
Low-Fat Diets Put Your Body Under Stress
As you have likely deduced on your own, low fat diets are thus not good for your general health. Low fat diets put your body in an unnatural and unhealthy position where your body is essentially left to ask, "What gives? What's going on? Well I better hold onto my fat." The end result is that you can actually find it more difficult to lose weight and not less. Now is this a situation that any dieter would ever want to be in? Ever?
When you opt for a low fat diet, your heart and brain are not getting the healthy fats that they need for proper functioning. Reducing or eliminating the bad fats like those found in fast food and processed food is a great step towards better health, but a total elimination of fats, especially the good fats we have outlined, is not in your best interest.
Given the mounting evidence when it comes time to diet, you should choose a diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, nutrition and healthy fat and low in processed foods, fast food and unhealthy fat. By making this choice, you can be sure that you will improve your health and drop the pounds.