High-fat diets have been recognized to be a major risk factor for obesity, type 2 diabetes and other related diseases. According to the World Health Organization, more than 40 million children were overweight in 2010 and this pattern of obesity seems to continue (Ferreira & Muniz 2013). Proper dieting and exercise have always been the most effective ways to lose weight and stop obesity but today we will focus on low and high-fat diets.
Increased consumption of high-energy foods (foods with elevated quantity of fats, carbohydrates and salt) and lack of exercises are important factors for the pathogenesis of those serious health diseases in modern society (World Health Organization, 2012). Foods such as fried chicken, packaged or processed foods and too many snacks should be avoided because these foods are very high in fat. What about low-fat diets, are they effective? Although low-fat diets have been promoted as healthier and recommended for weight loss, they have also been associated with an increase in carbohydrate intake from plant-based foods (Ferreira & Muniz 2013). Therefore, just reducing the fat intake may not be the best strategy for a healthy lifestyle. Next we will discuss the truth about fat loss and myths about high and low-fat diets.
To be honest, all diets have their good sides and of course, their bad sides. Traditional dietary recommendations (diet and exercise), a low-calorie diet and an increased consumption of carbs and fruits and vegetables remain the best method for weight loss (Ferreira & Muniz 2013). High-fat diets have been associated with weight gain and a low-fat high carbohydrate, fiber, grains, and protein has been proven as the best diet to lose weight (Bray and Popkin, 1998; McManus et al., 2001; Wing and Hill, 2001; Astrop et al., 1997, 2002, 2005). Foods such as whole grains have been proven to speed up your metabolism so I consume these foods every day.
High-fat/high-protein/low-carbohydrate diets, i.e. ketogenic, that force the body to burn fats instead of carbs, in some instances, has been known as a promoter of a rapid weight loss and reduced appetite (Brarata et al., 2003; Bray, 2003; Crowe, 2005). Good fat-burning foods that speed up your metabolism are whole grains, fish, low-fat dairy products and peanuts. We will then have a discussion about the health effects and risks of low and high-fat diets.
It has been debated in the last century, whether fats are harmful to your health and what role does fat plays in dieting. The 1st Food Guide Pyramid created in 1992 showed fats at the top of the pyramid, meaning that their consumption should be minimized (Ferreira & Muniz 2013). Since there are different types of fats, which fats should you consume that are NOT harmful to your health? Saturated and Trans fatty acids should be avoided at all costs with consumption less than 7 percent. Life expectancy in countries that practiced a Mediterranean diet was among the highest in the world and rates of coronary heart disease (CHD), certain cancers and other diet-related chronic diseases were among the lowest (Willet et al., 1995). The Mediterranean diet consists of eating plant-based foods such as, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, olive oil, fish and drinking red wine in moderation (Mayo Clinic 2013).
According to proven research, it can be safe to say that daily physical activity along with a Mediterranean diet may be a very effective weight loss plan. Before I even knew what a Mediterranean diet was, I was already consuming the foods it contained so I have been accustomed to this diet plan for a while. The most important factor about this type of diet is that it works. Avoid the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and other associated diseases by avoiding high-fat diets and stick to a low-fat diet plan to maximize fat loss. God Bless.
Senior Criminal Justice Major at Florida A&M University
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- Ferreira, Joao E., Muniz, N. “Low and High-Fat Diets: Myths vs Reality” February 2013 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
2. Mayo Clinic Staff “Mediterranean diet: A heart-healthy eating plan” www.mayoclinic.org 14 June 2013