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
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world-famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. After a decade in food service for Hyatt Hotels, Judy launched Food and Health Communications to focus on flavor and health. She graduated with Summa Cum Laude distinction from Johnson and Wales University with a BS in Culinary Art, holds a master’s degree in Food Business from the Culinary Institute of America, 2 art certificates from UC Berkeley Extension, and runs a food photography studio where her love is creating fun recipes.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science and Dietary Guidelines to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.