You have most probably seen hundreds of fat-free foods on every shelf at your local grocery store. "Low-Fat" and "Fat-Free" products seem to be everywhere now and almost all popular food items come in a low-fat version.
So do low-fat foods equal greater weight loss? The answer you will find, is not so simple as you are about to find out.
Contrary to popular belief, substituting an equal amount of fat calories for carb calories does not always lead to a loss of weight. Most of the time, what these food manufacturers don't tell you is that although their product may contain little to no fat, they do contain a high amount of sugars (carbs).
Although a gram of fat does indeed contain more calories than a gram of carbohydrates, if you eat enough carbs then you are still going to put on weight or have trouble losing it.
It has been shown that a person's perception of what they think is a regular portion of food can sometimes be skewed when they are given low-fat alternatives. People tend to feel less guilt when they eat these types of foods and so they are more likely to overindulge and overeat.
Recently, fat has been made the ultimate bad guy when it comes to weight loss and yet, there has for a while now been strong evidence to suggest that the dangers of dietary fat may have been greatly exaggerated.
The evidence actually suggests the opposite, that such diets are unhealthy and can raise the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes as well as certain psychological disorders such as schizophrenia and depression.
A recent major study found that low fat diets did not protect women against strokes, breast cancer, heart attacks or colon cancer which contradicts what was once promoted as the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle.
According to Jacques Rossouw, from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute that provided the funds for the study said, "Based on our findings, we cannot recommend that most women should follow a low-fat diet."
Believe it or not, some fats are actually healthy and essential for normal health. They are essential for things such as protecting the nerves and internal organs from damage, eye, brain and lung function and important immune system functions.
Some essential fatty acids are also essential for the production of certain hormones in the body. Some nutritionists recommend that people who have eaten low fat diets for many weeks or months without weight loss get tested for EFA deficiencies and should start eating certain foods to correct them if present.
Low fat dieting can also adversely effect your children. One particular study found that a diet low in fat can cause growth failure in children. The results can be insufficient weight gain or a lack of normal growth. Another side effect was that lack of energy and inadequacy of an intake of vitamins and minerals were found.
The solution for permanent weight loss is to not only consume enough fat calories but to consume the right kinds of fat.
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