Eating Less Fatty Foods Reduces Weight and Waistline
A systematic review of 33 controlled clinical trials shows that people may be able to lose weight, reduce their waist circumference, and lower their bad cholesterol levels just by choosing to eat low fat foods. This suggests that they do not even have to do any form of dieting to improve their health. The report comes in response to a need to update World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on total fat intake.
The trials reviewed in the new study included more than 73,000 adults and children from Europe, North America and New Zealand, who had varying states of health. The effects of eating less fatty food than usual versus eating the usual amount of fat were measured in terms of changes in body weight, waist circumference, blood cholesterol levels, and blood pressure after at least six months.
The results revealed that people who ate less fat lowered their body weight by an average of 1.6 kg, their body mass index (a measure of body fat) by 0.56 kg/m2, and their waist circumference by 0.5cm. Although the intervention was not intended to lose weight, the participants were able to maintain significant weight loss for over 7 years.
Dr Lee Hooper from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, who led the research, says that cutting down consumption of saturated fats and consuming more fruit, low fat milk and yogurt can help reduce one’s risk for heart disease and strokes. Even without trying to reduce weight, cutting down one’s fat intake may lead to consistent weight reduction.
Co-author Prof Carolyn Summerbell, from Durham University adds that although being physically active is beneficial for the health and is good for maintaining weight, exercise not a replacement for a healthy diet.
University of East Anglia. Low fat diet helps drop pounds, study suggests. ScienceDaily.