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6 Risks of Eating a Low-Fat Diet

How Low Can You Go? The Big Fat Truth about Low-Fat Diets


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  • Low fat fad of the 90s? Ha! I'd been advised to eat low/no fat since I was maybe 12 years old, and I'm 64 now. I've had breast cancer and melanoma, and high cholesterol. I wonder how much that dietician-given advice harmed me? - 9/28/2016 11:31:25 AM
  • Read "The Big Fat Lie" by Nina Teicholz, and then start ignoring any and all nutrition advice that comes from the guv'mint. - 9/28/2016 8:47:26 AM
    Eating adequate amounts of healthy fat "grease" the skids so to speak, "eliminating" constipation issues for most people. For me, eating too light causes that "heavy" feeling. Enough said. - 9/27/2016 9:39:58 AM
    This article may need updating. There is now a study that says "good" cholestorol is no longer a thing. - 3/15/2016 10:48:23 AM
    This article may need updating. There is now a study that says "good" cholestorol is no longer a thing. - 3/15/2016 10:48:22 AM
  • The whole 'why are we so fat in America?' problem really probably started nearly a century ago, and has been building slowly ever since. During Prohibition, people started consuming things like chocolate and soda in greater amounts (even as early as 1922 there were observations about increases in sugar consumption compared to pre-WWI numbers). Once we let that genie out, we never really put it back in the sweet, delicious bottle, and now we just sort of accept our current consumption levels as the norm. (The average American today consumes 100 pounds of sugar more per year than our ancestors a century ago!)
    No real guilt trip to that, I just think it's interesting how things from a century ago are still affecting us now. - 1/2/2016 4:30:11 AM
  • Fat enhances satiety. We are more satisfied when we have fat in our diet.

    One thing noted in the article is that when fat is taken out, sugar is added to enhance taste. Maybe in some cases. In man cases, sweeteners and "bulking" ingredients are added to replace the fat. If the recipe takes something out, something has to replace it, basically. - 1/1/2016 7:49:04 PM
  • Consuming healthy fats has played a big huge role in lowering my bad cholesterol and triglycerides! Fat free options are typically sodium or sugar bombs...they have to add flavor somehow! - 1/1/2016 7:30:05 AM
    Intelligent article. I am going to share that one. - 6/12/2015 9:45:02 AM
    People love to hear good news about their bad habits. Animal fats, in any concentration, are inflammatory and not good for the body. Read any book by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, or Dr. John McDougall....but first search out their qualifications, which are humbling. The reason the American Guidelines were so much higher than what is actually healthful is because it was thought the American people would never eat that low a fat percentage....and they were right! - 1/3/2015 11:59:01 AM
  • Glad to see that Sparkpeople is starting to move away from the low fat recommendations, which have been proven to be not correct.

    Our bodies need fats to survive, including saturated fats, just like our ancestors did.

    It is all the fake food, especially the super high carb empty calorie fake food that spikes our insulin levels that causes serious issues including obesity, heart disease, etc.

    We need a balanced diet that includes real food, including real fats, not all those manufactured food that big business wants to sell us.

    Recommended reading is "The Big Fat Surprise" by Nina Teicholz.
    - 1/2/2015 11:27:47 AM
    The low fat book in the 90's about reversing heart disease advocated 10% of calories from fat, that's significantly lower than SP's 30%. Often the lowfat craze has been blamed for our current obesity problem, but I really question how much the average American diet changed. I use lowfat and reduced fat products and my fat intake usually runs about 40-50% of my calories. Things are not always as they seem. - 9/6/2014 7:40:04 PM
  • This article is entirely wrong. You do not need to ingest extra fat. All plants have fat in them. Read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. Read Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. Read any of Dr. John McDougall's books on the benefits of eating a whole foods, plant based with no animal products and no added oil.

    I have been eating this way for a year and I have never felt better, enjoyed my food more, or lost and kept off weight more easily. - 4/4/2014 7:23:38 PM
  • Hmmmm......the "low-fat" recommendation of the 1990's was that we reduce our fat consumption from 45% of our daily calories to 30% of our calories from fat. 45% was considered "normal" then and 30% was "low-fat".

    So, when we talk about the low-fat craze of the 90's, we are really talking about a recommendation to lower our consumption to 30% of calories from fat, which is considered "moderate" now!

    Part of the problem in the 1990's is that people started eating "low-fat" food that still had plenty of calories, much of them from sweeteners. I remember the Snackwell phase - my husband and I both noted at the time, though, that they may have been low-fat but they were still high calorie.

    People were believing that they could eat as many calories as they wanted and not gain weight as long as they ate a low-fat diet that did not consider calories and the type of food they were eating. Ridiculous! How could people believe that consuming lots of chocolate syrup would *not* add to their waistlines? Sure it has 0 fat, but it has 100 calories per 2 TBSP serving!

    Eating whole, unprocessed food is ideal. When we eat processed food, we need to read the nutrition labels intelligently (serving size, order & type of ingredients, etc). Look for articles online that can teach this because, in general, the manufacturers will do what it takes to sell as much of their product as possible and can sometimes be a bit sneaky in the way they present their products. (There is so much psychology involved in selling products. I read an interesting article that said green used to be a taboo color in food packaging because it implied mold. Snackwells was one of the first food products to be packaged in a green box, and the industry discovered that consumers perceived the product as natural & healthy. Because of that, many more products now are packaged in green!)
    erceived-healthfulness-of-foods-study-130313 - 1/6/2014 7:19:00 PM
  • I agree with most of this article. It does bother me some the # of people who are still convinced they must eat low fat/no fat all of the time. In the article, it suggests if you're trying to lose weight, you should still watch your fat content. However fat in foods does not equal fat on the body. I finally switched to eating whole foods, which includes full fat butter, whole milk, full-fat cheese and many other no-nos for a low fat diet. And guess what? I lost more weight, more quickly! And how? It's because I was feeling full much more quickly than with the low fat substitutes, which meant smaller portions. And the other thing that showed me that eating fats is healthy, all my blood work came back with better numbers than when I was eating the supposed healthy stuff. It's sugar that causes all these problems. Most of the processed low fat/no fat foods contain high amounts of sugar, way more than we should ever consume. Sugar causes weight gain, sugar feeds cancer cells and causese many more medical issues either as a direct result of eating sugar, or from being overweight from eating too much sugar. I'm happy for this article, but I still see plenty more articles and recipes on SP stating to limit your fat intake and eat the low fat/no fat varieties of foods. Hard to see those things and then see this article and know what one to follow. - 1/6/2014 12:37:09 PM

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