With so many fad diets out there these days, it’s hard to know what works and what doesn’t. Two of the most common diet tips are to reduce your daily intake of both fat and sugar, but what exactly are the benefits of a low fat, low sugar diet?
Most importantly, a diet low in both fat and sugar is proven to lower cholesterol, and reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.
Benefits of a Low Fat Diet
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that adults receive only 20 to 30 percent of their daily caloric intake from fat. These calories should come from heart healthy good fats found in fish, such as salmon, nuts and olive oil. Avoid trans and saturated fats, such as those found in full fat dairy, red meat and highly processed foods like fast food.
When you cut back the amount of fat you eat, it minimizes the amount of fat your body actually stores. When you eat less fat, you store less fat, plain and simple. Plus, fat has almost double the amount of calories that carbohydrates and proteins have, so when you cut back on your fat intake, you cut back on the amount of calories you eat, and therefore are automatically managing your weight loss. By law, foods can only be labeled as such if they have 3 grams of fat or less per serving, so be sure to read labels carefully so that you aren’t going over your recommended daily intake of fat.
Benefits of a Low Sugar Diet
You’ve probably wondered why after even after you raid the candy jar after lunch, you are still hungry and tired. Eating a large amount of sugar only makes you hungrier because too much sugar causes blood sugar levels to rise and then dip, initiating the infamous sugar crash. A low sugar diet helps to curb your appetite and keeps your blood sugar level balanced. There are no recommended daily allowances for sugar as it has no known nutritional value. Therefore, sugar contains only empty calories. The USDA does recommend that no more than 8 percent of your daily calories come from sugar. Most adults eat almost twice amount.
Unless you are a professional athlete in need of a serious energy boost, that amount of sugar is completely unnecessary. To reduce your reliance, cut back on refined sugars found in cookies, candy and white flour, and stick to the natural stuff found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Balance and Moderation
Whether you cut back on your amount of fat or sugar in your diet, or both, it’s important to remember that the most important thing when it comes to losing weight is balance and moderation. Keep portions small, and try to eat as much natural, unprocessed foods as possible. Keep a food journal to keep track of not only your calorie intake, but also what amount of fat and sugar you are eating to be sure you aren’t going overboard on either one.