Low-Calorie vs. Low Fat Diets : What You Must Know

istock_photo_of_salmon_with_spinach_and_lemonFor a long time fat was presented as if it was the main thing to avoid in food if you wanted to have any chance of slimming down. This lead to an abundance of foods being marketed as low fat but a lot of it was still high in calories from the levels of sugar and carbohydrates in it. These days it’s clear that following a low calorie diet is more important than a low fat one, and that fat can even be a powerful tool for your weight loss and your overall health. One thing to keep in mind about it however is that fat is more calorie dense that other types of food, so there is more moderation to be paid to it when you are balancing out your diet.

Weight loss basically comes down to how many calories you burn as opposed to take in through your diet. No matter where they are coming from hey still count and you need to expend more than you eat to lose weight.

Instead of reaching for low fat packaged foods like frozen yogurt and crackers, try getting more low fat foods in their natural form like fruits and vegetables. The more a food is processed or packaged the less likely it is to be good for you. Processing food can remove nutrients from it and by then point it basically provides calories but nothing else, which gives us the phrase empty calories. You want your calories full of things that are good for the body so that you can actually use them as sustainable energy sources.

You might be in the habit of avoiding fats but the truth is that the good kinds of fats like monounsaturated ones are actually very good for you and can help with your weight loss efforts. Fat sources like avocados, olive oil, nuts, and salmon are all good choices. These fats have antioxidant benefits on the body and can help you feel full longer after each meal so you will be less likely to overeat later. Oils should be used in moderation since they are calorie dense and easy to loose track of how much is being used. While cooking keep track with a measuring cup or mix up your own balsamic and oil dressing to sprinkle on your salads throughout the week.

What might be more important than trying to avoid fat in the diet is trying to avoid any refined sugars. Natural sugars from things like fruit and honey are fine in moderation but anything that has added refined sugars in its ingredients might be a little high in calories and low in nutrients. Sugar affects the way that your body digests the food and can spike your blood sugar higher than a protein rich meal might for example. When this occurs you are more likely to have an energy crash and end up craving more sugar to replace. Avoiding it to begin with is a great way reduce cravings.

About Veronica Davis

Veronica is from Ballwin, Missouri. She wanted to be a registered nurse until college, where she discovered her passion for writing about health and wellness. She studied nutrition and journalism and now she contributes to several publications including Nature's Health Watch which she also edits.

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