For years, official guidelines have advised people to eat a low-fat diet, where fats are around 30% of your daily caloric intake. While on the other hand, many studies conducted advise that this style of eating is not the best strategy for weight loss for the long term. Significant studies suggest only minimal weight reduction and no effect on the development of heart disease. However, many advocates of low-fat diets claim that these results are flawed and consider the 30% recommendation of caloric intake being insufficient. Rather, they advise that in order for a low-fat diet to be effective — fat should make up no more than 10% of daily intake.
An Ultra-Low-Fat Diet, what exactly is it?
An ultra low-fat diet is a diet which allows for no greater than 10% of daily intake of calories from fat. This diet is also high in carbohydrates and low in protein. Ultra low-fat diets are, for the most part, plant-based diets and limit intake of animal based products, such as meat, dairy and eggs.
Plant foods high in fat such as nuts, avocados and extra virgin olive oil are also limited, despite them being considered healthy.
Regardless, studies have found that an ultra low-fat diet may have some benefits against several serious conditions.
Potential Health Impacts
Ultra-low-fat diets have been extensively studied, and it has been found that they actually may be beneficial against several serious conditions like multiple sclerosis, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity
Multiple sclerosis or MS is an autoimmune disorder that effects your optic never, brain and spinal cord. People with this condition can benefit from an ultra low-fat diet as well.
Several studies conducted indicate that very-low-fat and high-carbohydrate diets lead to improvements in people with Diabetes type-2.
Obese people can also benefit from eating a diet that is low in fat. For example, the low-fat rice diet has been previously used to treat obese people showing great results.
Studies indicate that an ultra low-fat diet improves various important risk factors for heart disease, such as:
- high C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation
- high blood cholesterol
- high blood pressure
An ultra-low-fat diet may improve risk factors for MS, type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
How Do Ultra Low-Fat Diets Work?
Some people argue that the effects of lowered blood-pressure may not be directly linked to the low fat intake. For example, considering the rice diet is extremely low in sodium, this may be the positive effect on blood pressure. Additionally, a general reduction in caloric intake, as people may not eat more of an unrewarding food. Reducing calories can have benefits for both metabolic health and weight whether it be cutting fat or cutting carbs.
The Bottom Line
An ultra low-fat diet may help treat and prevent serious health conditions, including obesity, multiple sclerosis, heart disease and type-2 diabetes. However, consistently following a diet that is very low in fat is hard in the long-run.
You may also have to limit your intake of healthy foods, such as fatty fish, nuts, eggs, unprocessed meat and extra virgin olive-oil.