In this Dietary Fat, How To Create a Menu For Low Fat Diet article you will discover everything about this very important macro-nutrient.
And if creating permanent fat loss is your primary objective you will find out why around 15% to 25% of your daily calorie intake — should come from healthy dietary fats!
For this article menu for low fat diet will be considered when your daily calorie intake from dietary fat is 15% of your total daily calorie intake. If you want your organism to function properly on a daily basis – this is the minimum amount of healthy fat that you should consume.
There is a lot of information about dietary fats, and here are the terms that everyone has probably heard many times:
…saturated fats, unsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, mono-unsaturated fats, fatty acids, essential fatty acids, trans fatty acids, Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and partially hydrogenated fat.
If you wanted to know the answers to what they all mean, this section of my site will provide you with this information!
In case you are interested how dietary fat is transported, absorbed, stored and later broken down by your body and used as an energy source, in the “what is body fat ?” article you will find a full explanation!
Dietary fat can be found in many different food sources, including corn oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, canola oil, olive oil, seeds, nuts, flax, butter, margarine, meat, poultry, eggs, fish, milk and other dairy products.
There are many other foods of course where you will find fats and oils, including potato chips, French fries, cookies, crackers, biscuits, frostings, pies, pastries, frostings, doughnuts, corn chips, taco shells, shortening, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, refined vegetable oils, most baked goods, and many, many others food sources.
When choosing the dietary fat sources for your menu for low fat diet you must choose the fats that will help you to create permanent fat loss, instead of making you gain more unwanted body fat.
Menu for low fat diet: CHOOSING GOOD DIETARY FATS
As you will discover in this article — there are good dietary fats that we need to consume to survive and help our organism to function properly — and there are bad dietary fats that can cause you to gain weight and lead to some very serious health problems.
Eating the wrong kind of fat can increase your blood cholesterol, clog your arteries and decrease fat burning. On the other hand, eating moderate amounts of good fats can increase your energy level, your strength and your muscle-building hormones.
Good fats can also improve your insulin functioning, skin texture and strengthen your joints. But most important, consuming good healthy fats can increase your body’s fat burning abilities!
The good healthy dietary fat is your friend and should be consumed according to the ratio of 50-30-20. This means that 20% of your daily calories should come from consuming this very important nutrient.
Insulin control is very important for effective, long term weight loss. When good fats are eaten together with complex carbohydrates and protein, they slow down the release of insulin into your bloodstream.
The steady release of insulin is what helps you to keep your blood sugar levels balanced, and to avoid the up and down cycles that comes from eating carbohydrates by themselves.
This is very important for people that were born with a slow metabolism (endomorphs)and have insulin sensitivity. Eating too many carbohydrates by themselves (especially the processed carbs) is one of the biggest no-no’s when it comes to creating permanent fat loss.
Menu for low fat diet: CONSUME DIETARY FAT IN MODERATION
Keeping your intake of healthy fat at 20% of your daily calories is the best way to reach your ideal body weight and to create a lean, healthy body!
Since all dietary fat contains 9 calories per gram, a higher ratio is not recommended in the beginning of your weight loss program.
Eating more than 20% of your calories from dietary fat might increase your daily calorie intake more than you want, and these extra calories will be stored as unwanted body fat in your fat cells.
Plus consuming more than 20% of your calories from fat will not leave enough room for complex carbohydrates and lean protein in your daily meals.
When you are creating a menu for low fat diet, you must take into account that dietary fat is also present in your protein and carbohydrate food sources.
By not counting these grams of fat, many people are consuming way more than they should. This is why meal planning is such an important part of reaching permanent fat loss, and creating the body of your dreams!
When you are ready to make your own menu for low fat diet ing, in the meal planning section you will find the exact details how to make the perfect low fat meals for yourself.
Making sure that you consume your optimum daily calorie intake is also a very important part of an effective, long term weight loss program. In fact, calories are the most important part in weight loss, period!
If you consume more calories than your body burns during the day, the surplus will always be converted to unwanted body and driven into your fat cells!
Menu for low fat diet: DIETARY FAT STRUCTURE
There are three different types of dietary fat, saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
Palmitic acid and stearic acid are carbon chains that are completely filled with hydrogen atoms. In other words, they are saturated with hydrogen.
The fats (triglycerides) that contain a lot of palmitic acid and stearic acid are therefore known as saturated fats. The fats that are made up of saturated fatty acids are solid at room temperature.
Saturated fats have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and many other serious health problems. The molecular structure of saturated fats makes them sticky, which makes you more prone to heart attacks and strokes.
Consuming too many of these dietary fats can also interfere with insulin function, and can cause insulin sensitivity. This is when your body can’t properly get the macronutrients into your cells. This is the last thing you want when you are losing weight.
The saturated fatty acids (the bad kind) are mostly found in butter, cheese, chocolate, egg yolk, meat and dairy fat, shortening, palm oil, palm kernel oil and coconut oil.
Oleic acid is a carbon chain connected by one double bond, where two of the hydrogen atoms are missing. This makes this fatty acid unsaturated.
Dietary fats that have a lot of oleic acid in them are liquid at room temperature, and are known as oils. Because oleic acid contains one double bond it is referred to as mono-unsaturated.
Mono-unsaturated fatty acids (the good kind) are found in avocados, cashews, peanuts, pecans, natural peanut butter, olives and olive oil.
Linoleic acid is a carbon chain that is similar to the oleic acid, with the only difference that it has multiple double bonds, and therefore it is referred to as poly-unsaturated. Poly-unsaturated fats are also liquid at room temperature.
Poly-unsaturated fatty acids (the good kind) are found in fish, walnuts, pecans, almonds, flax, some salad dressings, soybean oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil.
Menu for low fat diet: STAY AWAY FROM TRANS FATS
To produce the worst kinds of dietary fats, like vegetable shortening and margarine, manufacturers hydrogenate the unsaturated fat like corn oil with hydrogen by breaking the carbon double bonds and attaching hydrogen to the carbon chain.
To do this, they heat the oil and add pressurized gas and a nickel catalyst. This is how partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is created. This is the main ingredient in things like margarine and vegetable shortening.
The side-effect of hydrogenation are trans fatty acids. These are the worst kinds of dietary fats, and you must avoid consuming them or any food products that contain them like the plague!
If you care about your health, and want to create permanent fat loss and reach your ideal weight, make sure you stay away from any food products that contain trans fats!
In the human body, the enzymes that deal with fat are unable to deal with the trans fatty acids. Therefore, the enzymes get tied up trying to work on the trans fatty acids, and this can lead to problems with processing of essential fatty acids.
Trans fatty acids can also decrease your insulin sensitivity, increase insulin response to glucose, and hamper your immune system function. They also raise the bad LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and increase the blood (fat) triglycerides.
Trans fats also interfere with your liver’s detoxification processes, interfere with essential fatty acids functioning, make your platelets stickier, and may even lead to cancer.
Obviously, when you take all of this into account, you can understand why I recommend to avoid trans fats at all costs. They are much worse than saturated fats, which when consumed in small amounts can even provide some good health benefits.
When making your own menu for low fat diet ,food products that contain trans fats must never be included. If permanent fat loss is something that you truly desire, do not consume foods that contain trans fats even during your weekly cheat meals!
Menu for low fat diet: ESSENTIAL DIETARY FAT
The most common fatty acids are found in animal fats and include palmitic acid, stearic acid and oleic acid.
These non-essential fatty acids your body can manufacture straight from sugar if there are enough sugar calories coming in from your food sources.
People that do not consume meat do not have too worry about these dietary fats, as long as you are in a calorie surplus, because your organism can manufacture these fatty acids whenever that becomes necessary.
The essential fatty acids that your body can’t manufacture are omega-6(linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, gamma linolenic acid, dihomogamma linolenic acid) and omega-3 (alpha linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid).
Since your body can’t manufacture these essential fatty acids, they must come from the food sources that you consume during the day. Essential fatty acids fall into two groups, the omega-3 and the omega-6. All essential fatty acids are poly-unsaturated, and the 3 and 6 means that the first double bond is either 3 or 6 carbons from the end.
Omega-6 fatty acids are contained in many food sources including corn oil, sunflower oil, and soybean oil. The omega-3 fatty acids are much harder to find. The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids are flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, salmon, trout, and tuna.
When creating your own menu for low fat dieting it is very important to take into account that the optimum ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids should be balanced.
Menu for low fat diet: OMEGA-6 TO OMEGA-3 RATIO
The scientists are currently discovering that the average person is consuming omega-6 to omega-3 in a ratio of 15:1, and the goal should be to consume omega-6 and omega-3 in a ratio of 1:1.
So it is not only important to consume the right amount of essential fatty acids (EFA’s) it is also important to consume them in the right ratios. This is something that must be taken into account when planning your menu for low fat diet.
Only when we reach an even ratio of 1:1, we can reap the benefits of omega-3 fats such as reduced risk for heart disease, cancer, depression, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and other degenerative diseases.
When you consume essential fatty acids in the right ratio amounts you reap many benefits. One of the most important is proper energy production and oxygen transfer.
Essential fatty acids improve insulin sensitivity and are required for absorption of fat soluble vitamins. They are also important for joint health, help maintain cell membrane integrity, suppress cortisol production, and improve skin texture.
By consuming the right amount of essential fatty acids you will also increase your metabolic rate, and help burn unwanted body fat. When you consume good fats above 15% of total calories, your body increases the metabolic reaction, and this leads to an increase in the metabolism rate, which burns more fat.
This will also help counteract some of the negative effects from the saturated fats, and the trans fats that you might consume with some of your food.
This is why it is so important to make sure that your menu for low fat diet not only contains the right amount of dietary fat, but also the right kind!
Menu for low fat diet: WHY IT IS REALLY DIFFICULT TO LOSE UNWANTED BODY FAT PERMANENTLY
In our bodies, fat is the primary form in which we store excess long-term energy. It is not readily available as an energy source like carbohydrates, and is meant to be used to sustain us in times of starvation, whether it is self-imposed or otherwise.
This is one of the main reasons why it is so difficult to lose body fat, especially when you drastically lower your daily calorie intake. When creating a menu for low fat diet, make sure that you consume the optimum amount of daily calories.
This is very important because as soon as your body senses a sharp drop in your daily calorie intake, instead of burning unwanted body fat, as most people would like, it triggers the starvation response and starts to conserve its energy.
Converting your muscle to glucose and burning it as an energy source, is one of the ways your organism lowers its calorie burning ability, getting ready for starvation.
Your body can’t tell the difference between low calorie dieting and the beginning of starvation. As soon as your daily calorie intake drops below a certain point, your body will adjust to this new calorie intake by burning your muscle.
The other reason why it is difficult to lose unwanted body fat, is that our organism views body fat as a source of protection, and because of this, it is reluctant to give it up easily.
Throughout our bodies, fat is a component of cell membranes, it serves as a precursor to a variety of hormone-like substances, acts as an insulator against heat loss, and protects vital organs such as the kidneys and heart.
So if your goal is permanent fat loss, you must move toward this objective very slowly. The ultimate long term fat loss strategy is losing one to two pounds of body fat per week.
If you attempt to lose much more, your body will resist and fight you the whole time. In the end your body will always win by triggering its defense mechanisms and forcing you to eat what it needs to function properly!
Menu for low fat diet: NUTRIENT RATIOS FOR DIETARY FAT
This chart below shows the nutrient ratios, and shows what is considered very low to very high, as far as you daily calorie intake from good fat.
When creating a menu for low fat diet ing, it is very important to pay attention to stay in the 15% to 25% daily calorie intake from this macronutrient.
-very high……40% or more
-very low…….9% or less
Moderate amounts (20%) of good dietary fat are excellent for your health, and will help you in your weight loss program. This is why it is so important to choose weight loss foods that I recommend for creating permanent fat loss.
The most important thing is to watch your fat calories, because at 9 calories per gram they add up very quickly, and stay clear of trans fats which are the worst kinds of dietary fats that you can ever consume!
To create the perfect menu for low fat diet meals I recommend to go to the meal planning section in this site, and start with the 50-30-20 nutrient ratio, which is the best approach for creating permanent fat loss.