Low fat diet
Low fat diet


Eating a diet that is low in fat and high in nutritional value has been historically encouraged by numerous US health organizations to prevent heart disease, type II diabetes, stroke, and many other chronic diseases.

Consuming only low-fat food items has been questioned. Attention has been called to the importance of consuming certain healthier fats and avoiding unhealthier ones rather than only consuming low-fat products. The low fat diet has also been criticized for its high calorie and sugar content and inclusion of various artificial additives. Also, even when people eat fewer high fat foods, they can still have unhealthy consumption of foods that are high in starch, sugars, and protein, but lack further nutritional value.

Pregnancy And Lactation: There is insufficient reliable evidence about the safety of the low fat diet in pregnancy and lactation. There is no reason to expect safety issues, however fat should not be completely omitted from the diet.


Diabetes. Preliminary research suggests that following a low fat diet may improve sensitivity to insulin in patients with type I diabetes.

Myocardial infarction (MI). Some clinical research suggests that following a low fat diet may not lower the risk of myocardial infarction.

Colon cancer. Some clinical research suggests that following a low fat diet may not lower the risk of colon cancer.

Stroke. Some clinical research suggests that following a low fat diet may not lower the risk of stroke.

Breast cancer. Some clinical research suggests that following a low fat diet may not lower the risk of breast cancer. More evidence is needed to rate the low fat diet for these uses.

Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

Dosing & administration

    Adverse effects

    Interactions with pharmaceuticals

    None known.

    Interactions with herbs & supplements

    None known.

    Interactions with foods

    None known.

    Interactions with lab tests

    Interactions with diseases

    Mechanism of action

    Foods that are higher in fat have a generally higher calorie count. Calories that are not utilized throughout the day are stored as fat by the body. Therefore, consuming a diet that is lower in fat would result in less available calories for the body to store as fat. This would theoretically help with weight loss.

    Ideally, caloric intake should be balanced with an individual's level of physical activity. Therefore, in people with a generally sedentary lifestyle and low physical activity, increased consumption of high fat and subsequently high calorie foods theoretically would result in weight gain.

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