When people think of low fat diets, they generally think of weight loss. While limiting daily fat intake will typically result in some weight loss, there are many other health benefits that make following a low fat diet a good option for anyone.
Before you get started on your own diet plan, it’s important to understand that there are different types of fat. Your body needs some fat in order to function properly. The “good” fats are called unsaturated fats and are in oils that are typically found in plants. These fats are in things like olive, vegetable, corn and coconut oils. Saturated fats, in moderation, are actually good for you. The fats that you want to try to limit are called saturated fats and they come from dairy, meat and animal products. Things like bacon, hamburgers, ice cream and cheese are loaded with saturated fats and are more difficult for your body to break down. They can cause damage to your arteries and they also raise your LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. The last type of fats is called Trans fats. Trans fats are found in products like cookies, cakes and potato chips. There is no health benefit to Trans fats and if possible, they should be avoided altogether.
Understanding the different types of fat will help you to begin to follow a diet which will improve your overall health. Diets that are low in fat have been proven to help reduce your risk for serious medical conditions. In addition to weight loss, some of the long term health benefits of a low fat diet are:
Lower cholesterol: High cholesterol contributes to a whole host of cardiovascular problems including stroke, coronary disease and vascular disease. Having high cholesterol causes plaque to build up in your arteries, narrowing the passage and limiting the blood flow to your heart. Lowering your cholesterol by managing your fat intake therefore reduces your risk of developing heart disease.
Reduced risk of heart disease: Because of the lowering of your cholesterol, a diet low in fat contributes to better overall heart health and reduced risk of heart and vascular diseases, stroke and heart attacks. A best diet plan combined with a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise is the best way to ward off heart problems.
Reduced chance of developing diabetes: Being overweight is the biggest risk factor for developing diabetes. Since following a low fat diet helps to control weight, it also reduces your risk of having weight related diabetes later in life.
In addition to these medical benefits, there is also the benefit of just plain old feeling better! Diets that are high in fat can often make you feel sluggish and tired. When you incorporate a healthy diet plan into your lifestyle, you will undoubtedly notice an increase in energy and experience less daytime fatigue. Studies have shown that a diet low in fats contributed to better sleep and fewer cases of sleep apnea and snoring.
While following a diet alone won’t solve or prevent all health problems, there are definitely enough health benefits to make it worthwhile. And combining a healthy diet with regular exercise will put you on your way to improved health, weight loss and a healthier life.