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The low fat diet has been around for quite a while and is still a big part of weight loss plans everywhere. When learning about fats, it is important to note that not every type of fat is unhealthy. The body actually needs some fat to function.

Which Fats Are Healthy?
In general the healthy fats are the unsaturated ones, like monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Additionally, omega-3 fats, as found in some fish like salmon, are considered to be heart healthy and can dramatically reduce coronary artery disease. It is important to include these fats in your diet, in moderation.

The unhealthy fats are saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fats are found in meats, seafood, dairy products, eggs and butter. They can also be found in tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil. Trans fats are also called partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and is commonly found in sugary or processed foods, like cookies, cakes and crackers.

Another unhealthy fat is called dietary cholesterol. Many animal products such as meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products and eggs can contain cholesterol.

What Foods Can You Eat?
Being on a low fat diet does not have to be boring. There are plenty of foods that are a part of a healthy, low fat diet. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and egg whites are all great choices while on a low fat diet. Nuts are also a good source of healthy fats, but eat these in moderation, since they are still high in fat.

Replacing butter with olive or canola oil is also a good step towards a healthy low fat diet.

The prescribed amount of fat by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Human Health Services is no more than 35 percent of daily caloric intake. For example, if you are consuming 1500 calories per day, you should have no more than 58 grams of fat per day.

Is It Safe?
Low fat diets can absolutely be safe, provided that you take in enough calories to get a varied diet and plenty of vitamins and nutrients. As always, drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day is a good idea. Substitute meat with the leanest versions, or have fish. Switch from whole milk products to low fat or nonfat dairy.

As long as you are eating a balanced diet, the low fat diet can be suitable for just about anyone.

Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites: Flavorful Recipes for Healthful Meals

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