The American Heart Association recommends that you keep the amount of fat in your diet below 30% and you can do that by Low-Fat Diets. Similarly, the Institute of Medicine recommends diets with fewer than 35% of total calories coming from fat.
But how do you keep your intake low when most of the foods we eat are packed with tons of fat and calories? It’s simple; you need to limit your fat intake by staying mindful about the foods you eat. And in this article, I’m going to share some types of foods that are not only low in fat but are good for your overall health. But before that, let’s learn a few things.
What is a low-fat diet?
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A low-fat diet, as the name suggests, is one with restricted fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Usually, a low-fat diet contains fewer than 30% of its calories from fat.
While low-fat diets are intended to prevent serious health conditions like heart disease and obesity, experts say that they may not be healthy in the long-term. Typically, a low-fat diet includes foods like vegetables, lean meats, fruit, and whole-grain foods. You can also try egg protein and other protein supplements to keep your fat intake low as well. Low-fat diets are helpful for weight loss as well.
Reasons to limit your fat intake
In itself, fat plays an important role in a person’s diet. However, there are both good and bad fats. So, it’s worth knowing the difference to make a healthy decision. Generally, a low-fat diet helps to limit your calorie intake and cholesterol levels. A study by the National Cancer Institute suggests that low-fat diets could aid in cancer prevention as well. Besides, low-fat diets are also recommended for people with gallbladder disease. With that, here is a list of the low-fat foods to keep your fat intake lower than 30% of total calories.
Green vegetables such as spinach, kale, and many others have little or no fat at all. They are also rich in essential minerals and vitamins such as Vitamins A, K, potassium, calcium, etc. Some of the minerals and compounds contained in these green veggies are said to combat inflammation in the body.
Some studies have shown that eating leafy greens regularly could help to lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and many other health problems.
Mushrooms such as oyster, white button, shiitake, etc aren’t only low in fat but are also delicious and are said to be beneficial to your health. In fact, our ancestors used to eat mushrooms as food and medicine. Although different types of mushrooms have different amounts of nutrients, most of them are rich in vitamins B, minerals, potassium, and other essential compounds that are good for your health.
But that’s not all, mushrooms also contain a useful antioxidant said to have anti-inflammatory effects. Besides, mushrooms are said to play a significant role in improving your immune system and combating some types of cancers.
3. Lean Fish
Perch, haddock, Pollock are just a few of the types of fish that are low in fat. This makes them great additions to your low-fat diet. These types of fish contain essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals including Vitamin B12, selenium, phosphorous, and many others.
4. Egg Whites
Specifically, egg whites and not whole eggs are a good, low-fat choice. By contrast, egg yolk contains a lot of fat and cholesterol, which may not be good for your health. This is especially true if you are limiting your calorie intake. Usually, the yolks in eggs contain a higher concentration of fat and cholesterol. Granted, egg whites are rich in proteins hence are suitable when it comes to reducing fat and calories in your diet.
5. Chicken Breast
Chicken breast meat contains low amounts of fat and is rich in essential proteins. Chicken breast also contains essential minerals and vitamins such as phosphorous, Vitamin B6, niacin, selenium, etc.
Fruits are sweet and have the least amounts of fat and high amounts of minerals, fiber, and vitamins. The good thing about fruits is that they contain numerous plant compounds that are beneficial to a person’s health. Some plant compounds are said to have incredible antioxidants that are helpful when it comes to combating toxic free radicals in your body. These free radicals are said to cause cellular damage hence leading to health conditions like cancer, heart disease, etc. Fruits can be high in sugar, but generally the benefits from the nutrients they contain are worth the extra calories. That’s why experts recommend people to take diets rich in fruits and vegetables to prevent free radical damage. Another good thing about fruits is that you can eat them raw, cooked, or dried.
7. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are root vegetables with low amounts of fat. They are also rich in essentials vitamins like Vitamin A, B, and C. They also contain essential minerals like manganese and potassium which are helpful when it comes to safeguarding the body against certain conditions. For instance, the beta-carotene content prevents cell damage from free radicals. But that’s not all, beta-carotene is also said to lower the risk of certain eye problems.
Garlic has a bold flavor and strong aroma. It also contains virtually no fat, so it’s a nice way to enhance flavors for people who are on low-fat diets. People have been using garlic as medicine for many years. Furthermore, studies suggest that garlic may improve the immune system and protect against common cold especially when eaten regularly. Besides, researchers have linked the compounds found in garlic to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Legumes including peas, lentils, and beans are a low-fat class of vegetables. They contain no cholesterol and are rich in protein, essential vitamins and minerals like zinc, magnesium, and iron.
Studies have linked the consumption of legumes regularly to reduced blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels. Legumes are said to be helpful when it comes to combating weight gain.
Grains especially the ancient ones including spelt, farro, bulgur, etc, (not the modern ones like corn and wheat) contain low-fat content and are rich in incredible nutrients and vitamins like iron, phosphorous, vitamin E, and B. These grains contain rich fibers that strengthen the digestive system. Whole grains are also linked to a reduced risk of heart problems and stroke.
Generally, choosing low-fat diets could be for personal or medical purposes. As stated above, a low-fat diet could be helpful for people with digestive problems or other conditions like liver or gallbladder issues. The foods listed here are both nutritious, low in fat and calories, and are beneficial for your health. Adding them to your diet could help you improve your health and stay happy always.