Myth: You will be healthier with less fat in your diet.


Not all fats are bad.

Example Dietary Fats

Example of Dietary Fats

This statement is sort of true and sort of a myth.   Several years ago, every medical and nutrition expert recommended that we avoid fats in our diet.  Basically, the entire school-age population was taught in health class and on Saturday infomercials that we should eat a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet.  The problem is that this advice does not pass the muster of nutrition science.  

I am not recommending that you grab a better sandwich or later butter flavored Crisco on your popcorn.  Lower fat makes sense, but too little fat is just as dangerous.  The science indicates that your body needs three macronutrients nutrients to survive: carbohydrates, fat, and protein.  We can make all of the carbohydrates we need to function, but we cannot make the essential amino or fatty acids that come fats and proteins in our diets.  

Eating too little fat can result in less fullness, and less satiation can result in more food intake, more calories, and more fat storage.  I would recommend that you add healthier fats in the form of whole foods high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.  These types of fats are better and more nutritious than processed fats such as cooking oils.          

The bottom line:  Studies have shown that low-fat can be taken too far and may worsen obesity.  There are good fats that deliver the nutrition you need in the form of these essential fatty acids.  Without them, you will be unable to make the hormones and lipid layers our cells need to function correctly.  

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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