Is zero fat diet good or bad?

zero fat

Low fat diet is the most commonly used term. All of us want to to eat a low fat diet. We have gone a step ahead by totally avoiding fat in our diets. The trend of eating zero fat has become the latest fad. We boil, steam, pressure cook to avoid adding fat to the diet. Fat has developed a bad rep over the years. It has been beaten up, cursed upon and hated by all. But does it really help? Lets have a look what happens to eating very low or zero fat diets.

  • Vitamin deficiency- certain vitamins such as fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K need fat for its transport and absorption. If you eat less fat, you have a risk of deficiencies of these vitamins.
  • High cholesterol levels- this must be a shock as it is advised to eat less fat, but if your diet is low in monounsaturated fats and omega 3 fats, your HDL or good cholesterol falls. This makes you prone to high cholesterol levels and heart disease.
  • Depression- fats help the hormones and chemicals to play their roles in the body. Fats also affect our moods and behavior. People who are deficient in omega-3s may suffer from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders and ADHD. So eat fat for that happy feeling.
  • Increased risk of cancer- Certain cancers such as colon, prostate, breast cancers can occur due to lack of essential fatty acids.
  • High intake of sugars- Most low fat products add more sugar and other carbohydrates to replace fat and hence they are not low in calories but just low in fat.There will be a marginal difference in the calories.

It is required to eat fat as less than 20% of the total calories. Fat is very essential for our system and avoiding is not the solution. Eat more of monounsaturated fats, omega 3 fatty acids and less of saturated fats.

Include at-least 4 tsp of fats in your diet. Adding fat while cooking aids digestion and better absorption. Eating a well balanced diet along with regular exercise can protect you from a host of health problems. Now get the healthy fats back to your diet.

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Sanjana Shenoy

About Sanjana Shenoy

A dietitian from Mangalore, India. A post graduate diploma holder in “Dietetics” and a university topper from Welcomgroup School of Hotel Administration from the prestigious Manipal University. At present working as a Dietitian for the Manipal Group of Hospitals namely KMC hospital Mangalore, India. Consultant for corporates like Infosys and others, conducting talks and presentations for various associations and local television shows.

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3 Responses to Is zero fat diet good or bad?

  1. Govind Gadiyar September 28, 2011 at 7:35 am #

    The problem is a fried Samosa or Vada satiates the hunger and you feel good. The same thing when baked does not give that fullness or satisfaction. The companies marketing baked snack food are facing this challenge from marketing angle.

    Finally there is no alternative to reasonable quantity of fried food being part of our diet.

  2. G. Shobha September 29, 2011 at 1:21 am #

    Mr Govind, the problem you mentioned is very true but now there are improvised methods which will lessen the oil absorption. For eg addition of gums like Xanthan gum to products significantly reduces oil absorption and also adds bulk in terms of fibre. Same can be done for high sugary products for eg FOS(fructo-oligo-saccharide) can be added for the sweetness and fibre. So food tchnology is also advancing to combat some problems like these. But as Sanjana correctly mentions, fat is necessary for some functions and also to keep our skin supple. So one must not eliminate it but keep it in moderation.
    Feel good factor can still be preserved :)

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