If you’ve tried a low-fat or no-fat diet to optimize your health and perhaps lose a few pounds,yor’re not alone.But an eating plan that treats fat as the enemy,cutting out everything from beef to dairy to avocados,might not live up to dairy to avocados,in part becouse our bides need fats.
THE PROMISE Prepotent say these plans can prevent or ease heart disease,lower cholesterol levels,control blood pressure,and help you lose weight and keep it off.
THE TRUTH Without some dietary fat,you can become deficient in essential fatty acids and have trouble absorbing for-soluble vitamins.And unsaturated fat helps protect your heart and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.A 2012 review of studies by the independent Cochrane Collabration found that replacing saturated fat(found in animal products such as butter and ground beef) with unsaturated fat(found in fatty fish,avocados,nuts,and plant oils like olive oil) lowered the risk of heart attacs and strokes.
If weight loss is your goal,be aware that low-and no-fat foods aren’t always lower in calories.”Sometimes the reduced-fat or nonfat version of a product has added sugar and starch to boost the flavor and texture,” says Maxine Siegel,R.D., who heads food testing at Consumer Reports.
THE BOTTOM LINE Stay away from no-fat or very low-fat diets;they can ultimately be harmful.But if you’re like most Americans and have been consuming more than a third of your calories as fat,reducing your overall intake and picking good-for-you fats is probably wise,says David Seres,M.D director of medical nutrition at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York and a member of the Consumer Reports medical advisory board.A plant-basedl diet,which includes plenty of good fats,is healthy and associated with a decreased risk of disease.