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Low fat diet Health Article

Theory/evidence

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), caloric intake should be balanced with an individual's level of physical activity. A majority of Americans spend their time doing sedentary tasks, such as typing or watching TV. Fatty foods contain more calories; more physical activity is required to burn these calories.

Based on one study, patients with type I diabetes who adopted a low fat diet improved their sensitivity to insulin.

A long-term, in-depth study found that a low fat diet does not lower the risk for heart attacks, colon cancer, strokes, or breast cancer. The study suggested instead a more comprehensively healthy life-style, even if that life-style does include some healthy fats.

In sum, the overall evidence is mixed as to whether this diet may be beneficial for all patients. More evidence is needed before any firm recommendations can be made.

Author Information

This information has been edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography

American Medical Association. Roadmaps for Clinical Practice series: Assessment and Management of Adult Obesity. 18 May 2006. www.ama-assn.org

Harvard School of Public Health: Fats & Cholesterol. 17 May 2006. www.hsph.harvard.edu

Nutrition and Your Health: Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the USDA. 16 May 2006. www.nal.usda.gov

Prentice RL, Caan B, Chlebowski RT, et al. Low-fat dietary pattern and risk of invasive breast cancer: the Women's Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Dietary Modification Trial. JAMA. 2006 Feb 8;295(6):629-42.

Rosenfalck AM, Almdal T, Viggers L, et al. A low-fat diet improves peripheral insulin sensitivity in patients with Type 1 diabetes. Diabet Med. 2006 Apr;23(4):384-92.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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