Despite the numerous diet plans on the market today, a low saturated fat diet still ranks at the top of the list for being a nutritious, healthy-living choice. For the most part, it is a safe, effective way to lose weight and get fit. Most vegetarian diets are considered low saturated fat diets.¬†
Low saturated fat diets may differ in the speed and amount of weight loss they claim to provide. However, they all have some key factors in common. They focus on:
- Reducing and eliminating saturated fats and trans fats from your daily diet.
- Replacing saturated fats and trans fats with healthier options like unsaturated fats (like monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats).
- Increasing your intake of low fat foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Reducing and eliminating processed sugars from your diet.
- Encouraging a daily intake of balanced nutrition with a focus on healthy vitamins and minerals.
Diet Plan #1: The Mediterranean Diet
This was made popular by residents of the Southern Mediterranean area of the world because of its heart-healthy qualities. Since the incidents of heart disease in Southern Mediterranean countries is significantly lower than in the West, a study of their diet sparked the creation of this plan. It focuses on low fat foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Plus, it concentrates on using healthy monounsaturated olive oil. It also allows and encourages a glass of wine daily, with a meal, and incorporates heart healthy exercise.
Diet Plan #2: The Arthritis Diet
This was made popular by patients and physicians interested in the correlation between saturated fats and inflammation in the body. Many believe that since saturated fats are known to cause inflammation in the body and reduce blood vessel function, eliminating saturated fats from the diet of patients with Arthritis should help relieve some of the discomfort associated with the disease.¬†
Diet Plan #3: The Mayo Clinic Diet
This originated and was made popular at the famous Mayo Clinic medical facility as a heart-healthy option for weight loss. Doctors wanted to give patients with heart disease-related issues a balanced, nutritional weight loss plan that would also provide benefits for their cardiac problems. This plan is low in all fats, not just saturated fats, and high in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains that specifically reduce weight and the risk of heart disease. In addition, this plan focuses on cholesterol levels and reducing unhealthy high blood pressure.
Diet Plan #4: The Flat Belly Diet
This is similar to the Mediterranean diet, featuring little proteins, but lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You are restricted to about 1600 calories per day and must replace saturated fats with monounsaturated fats including:
- dark chocolate¬†
- healthy vegetable oils
The low saturated fat component is intended to produce slow but steady weight loss and improved cholesterol ratios.
Diet Plan #5: The IBS Diet
This is similar to the Arthritis Diet in its concentration on the reduction of inflammation in the body by reducing inflammation-causing saturated fats in the diet. Because much of the discomfort of IBS (Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome) is due to gas and inflammation in the bowels, the IBS diet is geared toward reducing or eliminating foods that cause gas and inflammation. Sugars, caffeine, and saturated fats should be avoided, while the typical fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are emphasized.
Diet Plan #6: The Rice Diet
This was made popular at the Duke Weight Loss Clinic in Durham, NC, and it is more aggressive in its promises of weight loss¬†. Unlike the other low saturated fat diet plans, this plan begins with a restrictive, jump-start program to drop significant weight in the first week. The second phase of the diet concentrates on traditional low saturated fat diet elements, but also restricts healthy unsaturated fats in an attempt to keep daily caloric intakes low.