Low Fat and Very Low-Fat Diets

By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

For the last 20 years, health authorities have been saying that a low fat diet is best. Indeed many people have been able to gain some control over their weight by lowering their fat consumption. However there is much argument as to whether low fat is best.

More modern research is beginning to show that fat in our diet may not be the sole culprit for obesity problems in society, and that it is very important to differentiate between types of fat.

Low Fat – 20-30% of calories come from fats

Very Low Fat – 0-19% of calories come from fats.

Some Popular Low Fat Diets



80 10 10 DietSimilar to the Ornish diet, this plan promotes eating a diet of 10% fat.
Abs DietSyetem for increasing muscle mass and definition by eating a high protein low fat diet.
Diet-to-GoMeal delivery based diet that offers both low fat regular and low fat vegetarian options.
eDietsOffers a low fat plan as part of their extensive dieting services.
Fat Loss For IdiotsThe diet is high in protein, low in fat, and with reduced carbohydrates.
F-PlanAgain, popular in the late 1980s – this plan emphasized high fiber.
Hip and Thigh DietRosemary Conley’s very low fat diet was very popular during the early 1990s.
Jenny CraigBased on premade frozen meals; 60% carbohydrates, 20% protein, and 20% fat and are supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables and low fat dairy products.
Karl Lagerfeld DietLow fat, low carb, and high protein plan that the designer followed to lose weight.
Mayo Clinic PlanThis low fat diet is a healthy version of the Fad Mayo Clinic Diet
No-Fad DietLow fat diet from the American Heart association.
Ornish DietVery low fat diet from Dr Dean Ornish.
Pritikin Diet Very low fat, high carb diet.
Rice DietThe daily diet contains 5 gm or less of fat, about 20 gm of protein, and not more than 150 mg of sodium.
ScarsdalePopular in the 1970s – this is a low fat, high protein diet.
Starch SolutionDr. John McDougall outlines the scientific research in support of the health and weight loss benefits of a starch-based diet.
Weight WatchersDieters are discouraged from eating high fat foods as they are high in daily points.

See Also

The importance of fats (fatty acids, saturated/unsaturated fats) in the body and in the diet.

Low Fat recipes can be found here.

By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Favour

    Pls I want to lose some weight, especially around my thighs,it’s giving me stretch marks. Pls I need your advice on how I can lose weight n what I can use to remove the stretch marks.

  • Mitzi Rubright

    I am on a almost a fat free – very low sugar diet. Only drinks are with no sugar……so the only sugar I have is the sugar in my wine at night. I figure…..I do need some sugar, so I save it for the wine. I do go off my diet on the weekends, thinking I do need some fat……and not to disallow all my fat. Could you please tell me what I am doing wrong. I have gained 4 pounds in 2 days. Thanks yoiu very much. Mitzi

    • Bee

      youre most likely undercarbed. you should aim for at least 80% of your calories to come from carbohydrates in the form of fruits (best choice), rice, potatoes, quinoa, millet, barley, oats, etc. what do you consider low fat? aim for less than 10% of your diet from fat and eat as many carbs as you desire and you will see and feel incredible LONG LASTING results with absolutely no crash and burn. check out “The Starch Solution” and “The 80/10/10 Diet

      • denoso

        do this calculate your BMI then plan as follow cho 6-11 serving per day PROTEIN 3-5 serving this include HBV N LBV protein,cholesterol you need it in small quantity like 10% of both poly n unsaturated fatty acid or do the cholesterol test it shud be blw 5.2 then match energy intake n expenditure depending wth your lifestyle

  • Healthwise

    Cutting calories means cutting nutrition! It amazes me how people are still stuck using the antiquated weight/calorie Paradigm that just does not work. It’s NOT about weight, but about a person’s percentage of body fat! The percentage of essential fat is 3%–5% in men, and 8–12% in women. Plus the quality of the calories you eat can make you healthy or unhealthy, and that the average person tends to eat too much FAT in their daily diet. Also, a lower fat diet does not work by itself. You need to do at least a 45 min daily aerobic type exercise too. So eat right, exercise, and watch your body fat. Note: a high fat diet is 34 percent fat per serving or more (over 1/3 fat).

  • becka

    can anybody give me a diet for diabetes what to eat i need something how many carbs ect

    • Bee

      read “The Starch Solution” and “The 80/10/10 Diet” they are excellent resources. Get AT LEAST 10 grams of carbs/ kg of body weight. make that at least 80% of your calories from carbs, MAX 10% from fat and protein each. if you have type II diabetes you can get off your medication in a couple of weeks by keeping your fat low and carbs high!

    • Jenny

      Becka you can go to a Barnes & Noble book store. They have cookbooks and stuff in there for diabetes, low sugar, or whatever your looking for. I was surprised when I seen all the different cookbooks there. You might want to give it a shot and see if it helps you any. Oh and if you don’t mess the books up or write in them you can always take them back.

  • Andrea

    The best way to clean the body of fat is to eat foods high in fat soluble vitamins(A,D,E,K) and low in fat.

    Vitamin D (sunshine).

    Butterhead lettuce and romaine lettuce are both high in Vitamin A,E,K. Eat the lettuce raw and avoid the white part because its a sedative. Lettuce is also high in chlorophyll which will reverse heart disease and lower cholesterol significantly.

    Don’t add any oils or salad dressings to the lettuce. raw raw raw.

  • Nancy

    I am struggling to find ideas for breakfast lunch and dinners. I have no gallbladder, have a fatty liver and high cholesterol. Suggestions anyone?>

  • Ava

    The way to lose weight fast is to cut back on your foods, excersize a lot more and no fast foods or pop.. Those are the killers.

  • ewie delgado

    how long has this diet been around
    who created or invented this diet
    why did they start it
    how does it work
    how do the founders of the diet explain its effectiveness in weight loss
    how much weight are you expected to lose and how quickly
    what is the potential cost of this diet for one month
    what is the scientific evidence that says this diet works
    what are the side effects on this diet

    please i need this for a project due monday

    • ted

      Sorry we’re not doing you’re project for you so get googleing buddy.

  • DEANNA CLARK

    I WANT TOO LOOSE ALOT MORE WIGHT LIKE I DID IN HIGH SHCOOL WHEN I WAS A SENIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL I GARDUATED IN JUNE OF 1995 14 YEARS AGO AND I WANT TO BE LIKE I WAS THEN THNAK YOU SINCERLY DEANNA CLARK??

  • joan

    i am on a very low fat diet under doctors orders. i recomend anyone to try it. you will find that your digestive system will function better. you get far less indigestion. you will feel much healthier so much that you will easily forgo the chocolate cake and biscuit snacks.

  • cindy

    I wanna loose weight but I don’t now how?

    • Sanchari Mitra

      Don’t go for a crash diet course. The main fact that helps in loosing extra weight is burning extra calories. Eat as much as possible but work out as much as needed. There are a lot ways to burn your calories. But I prefer the “No Machine method” the most.
      loose weight and enjoy the world more than others.
      Best of luck!!