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Lowering Fat Intake Helps With Weight Loss, Study Says

Why Ditching the Butter Can Slim Your Figure

A new study shows weight loss doesn't always have to be about counting calories — just lowering fat intake pays off. A recent British review of 33 randomized and controlled studies, involving over 73,000 participants, discovered some heartening and healthful patterns associated with decreasing the amount of fat consumed.

Over the course of at least six months, researchers weighed participants and measured their waistlines to see if only lowering fat intake would make a significant difference. Participants ate their typical amount of food each day, but half of the group had less fat in their meals. The results for the study group with less fat in their meals averaged a 3.5-pound weight loss, slimmer physiques, and the weight stayed off for seven or more years. The belly measurements, in particular, were noticeably smaller on the participants who received the diet lower in fat. So could reducing your fat consumption alone be better than dieting? Here are the tips that this team of researchers discovered.

Saturated Fat: Although there was no bias between different types of fats in the study, researchers believe that cutting back on saturated fat is the most beneficial. This is the type of fat that contributes to heart disease and strokes, so slowly weaning off of this type can be a simpler approach to health.

See the rest of the tips after the break!

Healthy Fats: Certain fats like monounsaturated fats, found in olive oil and avocado, can be an important component to a healthy diet, in moderation of course. Unlike trans and saturated fats, monounsaturated types can have heart-healthy effects. These healthy fats are typically rich in omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, which help with risk of health disease. A small portion daily can be an easy addition to any diet for a longer, healthier life.

Simple Swaps: In the British study, participants were given easy swaps to be able to consume a normal amount of food without feeling deprived like most people do when dieting. Low-fat dairy products, instead of whole-fat milk and yogurt, were easy adjustments that the team gave the study participants so they wouldn't have to give up dairy completely. Cutting out butter and cheese completely were also recommended because the lower-fat versions of these foods can still contain too much fat for your daily allowance. Lastly, slicing the fat off of your meat is a straightforward approach to lower fat intake, and you can literally see how much fat you're cutting from your diet.

Image Source: Shutterstock
Join The Conversation
Frances3473505 Frances3473505 4 years
Cutting anything that's not green from one's normal foods will result in weight loss. It makes sense that getting rid of fats will result in loss of abdominal fat, which Kerry Stewart, a professor of medicine at John Hopkins, says "is almost like a living organ. It produces proteins that cause inflammation.” So that's great but it's not the cure for overweight. (How much less bread did the participants eat without butter? How many few cookies and cakes?) Until we start treating overeating as an addiction, we're always going to be hearing about such small advances. The fact is, science now shows through new tools like PET and MRI brain scans the addiction related organic changes that take place in the reward system and the prefrontal cortex. This occurs across all additions, from drugs and alcohol to the newly discovered food addiction. This new pioneering research is also helping us to appreciate a holistic and integrative approach to addiction. I was first senior research fellow in NIH Office of Complementary Medicine. Using food addiction as template, THE HUNGER FIX addiction plan integrates personal empowerment, spirituality, along with whole food nutrition and restorative physical activity. Butter is only one fat and fat is only one component of a much larger issue.
Kevin2628110 Kevin2628110 4 years
agree with the benefits of unsaturated fats, but just cutting fat intake over cutting calories, in my view, is not gonna cut matter what the studies say...because it doesn't work for everybody
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