A recent study, published online May 18 in the American Journal of Clinic Nutrition, states those on a lower-fat diet reduced their risk factors for Type-2 Diabetes even if they did not lose weight. This gives overweight individuals an even greater reason to stick to a low-fat diet. Obesity is a strong risk factor for this life-altering disease. Other common complicates that may benefit include heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
The study showed that those who ate a diet comprised of 27 percent fat and 55 percent carbohydrate, after just eight weeks, had significantly higher insulin secretion and better glucose tolerance and tended to have higher insulin sensitivity.1
The low fat diets were especially effective for African American study subjects. You can gain the same health benefits through some simple substitutions that will reduce your risk of developing diabetes and may even help you lose weight.
Substituting high-fat red meats with turkey is a good alternative, but only when done correctly. Don’t assume that just because the ground meat is turkey, that it must be low fat. Ground turkey can include dark meat and skin. Those parts of the bird have high levels of fat and calories. Instead, look for all white turkey meat or for products that are 95% fat free. While some other meat options are good, such as white chicken meat, veal, and lamb, you should toss most pork and beef products. Loin and round cuts of pork and beef are good, but toss the ground meat, sausages, canned meat, organ meats and hot dogs.
Use oil and vinegar based salad dressings, instead of creamy ones. Olive, safflower, corn, sunflower, canola, and soybean oils work best. However, avoid reduced fat dressings. These usually add sugar for flavor, which can add to weight gain and diabetes risk. Another option is to continue using creamy dressing by placing one tablespoon on the edge of the plate, not on the salad. Dip your fork in the dressing and then pick up some of the salad. You will significantly lower your fat intake from dressing without added sugars.
“Smart Food” and similar flavored popcorn snacks are loaded with fat and salt. Instead, make popcorn at home, adding a small amount of oil and salt for flavor. Popcorn is a high fiber healthy grain, but only when properly prepared. Avoid popcorn varieties as well. Hot air popped corn is the healthiest choice.
Of course deep-frying increases the amount of fat in foods, but pan-frying can make foods unhealthy as well. The best thing you can do is to steam or bake your foods, using cooking spray instead of butter. Healthy oils work well too, but only in moderation. Other options include broiling, braising, poaching, roasting, steaming and grilling.
Reduce Fatty Portions Instead of Substituting with Low Fat Products
Try to avoid purchasing “low fat” or “diet” foods. Many products for dieters include unnatural ingredients. The best way to reduce your fat intake is to eat fewer fatty foods. If a recipe has a large amount of fat, reduce your portion size, rather than substituting artificial ingredients. Studies have already shown that sugar substitutes can have a boomerang effect, causing you to eat more calories than you otherwise would. Fat substitutes may have similar affects. Instead of fat substitutes, eat smaller portions of fatty foods and increase your portions of whole-grains and vegetables.
To learn more about low fat diets you have a look at our heath advice and the diet tips section of our site. Additionally, there are a range of useful diet calculations to help you with your weight loss.