A low-fat diet plan has long been linked to good health, weight loss, and reduced risk of developing heart diseases and other health disorders.

Generally, fat is not completely evil. Fat plays an essential role in various bodily functions. It helps regulate the body temperature and insulates, or cushions, the tissues and organs. Containing nine calories per gram compared to four calories per gram from carbohydrates and protein, fat is the most concentrated source of calories, making it the main storage of the body’s energy. It is also a good source of linoleic acid, a vital fatty acid for metabolism, healthy skin, growth, and for complete absorption of fat-soluble vitamin A, D, K, and E. Moreover, a minimal amount of fat in food makes a significant difference in its taste, something that all food lovers can attest to.

Nonetheless, with its high calorie content, fat consumption poses a certain level of risk for one’s health. Too many calories in the body can lead to weight gain, which then develops into other health issues like arthritis, gallstones, cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

High-fat foods include dairy products like cheese, butter, ice cream, and whole milk; deep-fried foods; processed meats like hot dogs, salami, and sausage; egg yolks; and fatty red meats. On the other hand, low-fat foods include seeds, nuts, pasta, rice, cereals, fish, vegetables, and fruits.

Getting on a low-fat diet does not mean entirely giving up eating high-fat-content foods. In a low-fat diet, one needs to get no more than 30% of the required daily calorie intake from fat. Also, no more than 7% of the daily calorie requirement should come from saturated fats and should be less than one percent from trans fat. Cholesterol intake should also be reduced to 300 mg per day, and the sodium intake should be less than 2,300 mg per day. Eat huge amounts of low-fat foods together with high-fat foods, or find some food substitutes for the high-fat foods.

Following low-fat diets also involves educating yourself about various foods. Learn about some important concepts related to cholesterol and saturated fats. Also, it is important to learn how to read food labels, understand them, and be informed about the food’s fat contents. Look for the keywords such as “trans fats,” “partially hydrogenated,” and “hydrogenated.” Lastly, always remember the rule of thumb, liquid fats are healthier than solid fats.