5 Reasons Why Low-Fat Diets Don’t Work…

For over 20 years we have been taught that if we didn’t stop eating fat it, would make us fat. We listened to the advice of all the nutritionists, doctors and the media. We followed low-fat diets they recommended, but they left us overweight and scratching our heads wondering what happened. As Americans continue to focus on eating low-fat foods, obesity, diabetes and high-cholesterol has skyrocketed. This has caused many people to rethink the idea of low-fat dieting, including the nutritionists and doctors that originally supported it.

The truth…low-fat diets don’t work.

Here are five reasons why…

  1. Eating Fat Does Not Make You Fat.
    The body does not store the fat we consume in our diet as body fat. “Healthy fats” (Unsaturated fats) promote weight loss, help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Unsaturated fats include polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fatty acids help lower blood cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels. One type of polyunsaturated fat is Omega-3 fatty acids, they are found in fatty fish, flaxseed and walnuts. Monounsaturated fats are found in olives, avocados, nuts, seeds and olive, canola and peanut oils.
  2. Eliminating Fat = Increased Hunger.
    Fat provides flavor to food and helps us feel full. Fat helps satisfy our appetite and keeps us from eating to much or too often. This is because fats take longer to digest than carbs or proteins. People also tend to eat a larger portions of a low-fat foods because they believe they are better for them.
  3. Consuming Less Fat = Consuming More Carbohydrates.
    If the amount of fat in a product is reduced, the proportion of carbohydrate or protein is increased. Carbohydrates are converted into glucose in the bloodstream. Simple carbohydrates require little digestion and convert into glucose quickly. Excess glucose in the blood causes the release of insulin which tells the body not to burn body fat and stores the glucose as fat.
  4. Reducing Fat = Increased Sugar and Salt.
    Many low-fat processed foods have sugar and/or salt added to improve taste. Sugar has more harmful health effects than fat. Sugar drives fat storage, makes the brain think it is hungry, causes the release of insulin and contributes to insulin resistance and abdominal fat. Salt increases our risk for High Blood Pressure, Osteoporosis, Kidney Disease, Kidney Stones, Stroke, Dehydration, Edema, Asthma, Duodenal, Gastric Ulcers, Stomach Cancer, Electrolyte and Hormonal Imbalance.
  5. Reducing Fat = Increased Processing.
    The fat content of fat-free and low-fat foods is removed by additional processing, altering, formulating, reformulating, added chemicals and fat replacers. Carbohydrate-based fat replacers include Cellulose, Dextrins, Fiber, Gums, Inulin, Maltodextrins, Polydextrose, Starch and Modified Food Starch. Protein-based fat replacers include Microparticulated Protein and Modified Whey Protein Concentrate. Fat-based fat replacers include Emulsifiers, Salatrim and Olestra. Scientists are now able to chemically alter fatty acids, some of which pass through the body virtually unabsorbed.

What does work?

A balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats is ideal. Eating fresh, organic, local, whole foods, while reducing processed foods, practicing portion control and exercising is also key to living a healthful life.

I am dedicated to supporting you in your journey towards a healthy lifestyle, please Contact Me if you would like to learn more about healthy eating or other ways I can help you in your journey.

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Be Healthy,


About Heather Lentz

Your Journey Begins Here…We Be Healthy supports you in your journey towards a healthy lifestyle through Low-Glycemic Cooking (& Eating), High Quality Nutritional Supplements, Jumpstart 5-Day Carb Cleanse, Healthy Energy Drinks, Preservative-Free Skin Care, Reducing Your Toxic Load and Creating a Healthy Home. Although I am still on my healing journey, I am now taking others along with me.
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18 Responses to 5 Reasons Why Low-Fat Diets Don’t Work…

  1. Tina Pruitt says:

    Love this breakdown Heather! It is so easy for consumers to get caught up in the propaganda….so happy to see it laid out so nicely here! Thanks for your wisdom in this post – much appreciated!

  2. Heather, this is simple yet powerful article. I love how you dispel the myths of low fat eating. Sugar has incredibly harmful effects. Did you know there are five pumps of syrup in a regular green tea latte at Starbucks? I believe humankind (at least those who go to Starbucks) are being addicted to sugar and this is directly proportionate to the company’s growth. Thanks for your insights. Nadine

    • Thanks Nadine! I believe that sugar is a legalized drug (hmm a future blog post..maybe). Food companies are profiting at American’s expense. There are so many processed foods that are truly unrecognizable, chemicals and additives in foods and of course sugar. The obesity epidemic can be cured. We need to get back to a balanced diet, rich in vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats. Thanks for your comments. 😉

  3. nasrine says:

    I totally agree about the sugar vibe. I have noticed that sugar is something that is in everything, and it’s so hard to get away from it. I noticed the past few years (after having a baby) when I avoided sugar I would get into shape. It was magical, I was doing everything! Boot camp, no carbs, no meat, no fat, no this or that. BUT when I said NO to sugar is when the weight came off NOT to mention the happy vibes surfaced more. Sugar really is a drug and one that we need to be super aware of, I know for me, it’s one I really need to watch out for.

    • Thank you for your comments Nasrine! You may like one of my other posts http://www.we-be-healthy.com/2011/07/willpower/. It explains why you can release weight when you take sugar out of your diet or replace it with low-glycemic alternatives. Some of us are more sensitive to sugar than others. I need to watch out for it too. But, the amount of fat in my diet, as long as it is good fat, doesn’t change my weight at all. 😉

  4. nasrine says:

    WOW! I had no idea about the 5 pumps of syrup in a regular green tea latte @Starbucks AND you’re right, Starbucks needs to care more about this sugar thang!

  5. Very true about the carbs cravings. I don’t crave chocolate at all, but when I haven’t had enough good fats in my diet, I’ll go straight to a packet of chips and it makes me feel terrible afterwards.
    Nothing better than some yummy, creamy avocado for making me feel good!

    Great article Heather!

    x Denise DT

    • Denise, I love avocado! It has been made out to be such a villain too. That and eggs. I hate that society thinks that fake chemical filled foods are good for you because they are fat-free. And that eggs and avocados are somehow bad for you. Crazy! 😉

  6. Liz DiAlto says:

    Hey Heather-I love this post. Have you ever read “Why We Get Fat” by Gary Taubes? His philosophy is totally aligned with what you talk about here. It drives me nuts that people grab these “100 Calorie packs” that do nothing for them and justify it “but it’s only 100 calories”…always glad to see someone spreading the real facts about nutrition! Thanks 🙂

    • Liz, thanks for the support and book recommendation. I have not read “Why We Get Fat” but I will check it out. I am always looking for others that are aligned with my thinking and teaching. 😉

  7. Jenny Hansen says:

    I had no idea salt was so scary and that lowering fat increases carb intake.

    This was very interesting. What a great post! Thanks Heather.

  8. Great post, Heather! I LOVE #1 because as a nutrition coach, this trips people up every time! I even used to do the low fat diet…and now that I eat my good fats (avocado!) and real butter, I feel better than ever. Thanks for spreading the facts!

    • Thank you for your comments Lisa! People usually get this one wrong. Probably it’s because of the low-fat hype we have been fed by the food industry and the media for the last 30 years. I agree with you on the avocado and real buter, I can’t imagine going without them. They have been made out to be villains along with eggs, but they are all good for you. As you know, being a nutrition coach, eating fats in moderation and portion control are key too, but eating real unprocessed foods will make you feel good. 😉

  9. Tom says:

    Great article, very informative. I think we are fed a LOT of misinformation by food companies and, as a result, the majority of people’s health and weight is suffering.

  10. Diana says:

    I’m a big supporter of having plenty healthy fats in my diet. I especially love salmon and almonds, but I try to include a wide range of healthy fats in my weekly menu.

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