Reducing Fat Intake Helps Lower Weight

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A recent study of a group of overweight women showed that lowering fat intake reduces body fat by 5-10% over an 8-month period.1 Before the subjects started the diet, researchers conducted surveys to show initial fat intake. They found that fat intake is tied to BMI as seen by our chart above. It didn’t show how the women whose BMI is greater than 27.5 consume more than 35% of their calories from fat! Here is what the researchers did:
• Subjects were instructed to limit fat intake to about 15% of calories.
• There was no change in physical activity during the study.
• Even though fat was limited, the participants were not instructed to reduce calories.
• The average subject lost about 13 pounds.
The Bottom Line:
Individuals who wish to use a very-low-fat diet to promote weight loss should emphasize whole grains, fruits and vegetables rather than refined carbohydrates and eat 2-3 servings of omega-3-rich seafood each week. Of course, the addition of walking or other aerobic exercise for 45-60 minutes at least 5-6 days a week would have led to even greater weight loss.
1. J Am Diet Assoc 2003;103:1600-6

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