5 Health Risks of Low-Fat Diets
Before you pick out another fat-free or low-fat item from the shelf at your grocery store, think of all the health benefits you may be missing out on.
According to Dr. Axe, not all fats are created equally and not all affect the body in the same way. While processed and refined fats found in boxed foods and most restaurant fare can be harmful, other types of natural fats have beneficial, life-extending properties.
When we miss out on fats in our diets, we can quickly find ourselves feeling tired, moody, constantly hungry, unable to kick cravings and resentful over our restrictive diets.
1. Poor Brain Function
Your brain needs essential fatty acids to maintain optimal health and brain function. The body can make some of the fats it needs from the foods you eat.
However, two essential fatty acids cannot be made in the body and can be taken in the diet from plant foods. These basic fats — linolenic and linoleic acid — are used to build specialized fats called omega–3 and omega–6 fatty acids. (Source)
Poor functioning brain can lead to depression and anxiety.
Omega-3 supplements can help fulfill your brain’s essential fatty acid needs.
2. Hormonal Imbalances
Fats are critical in affecting hormonal activity. Low-fat diets raise the risk of menstrual problems and infertility.
Cholesterol and other fats play a fundamental part in building cellular membranes and hormones. Certain kinds of fats, including cholesterol, also act like antioxidants and precursors to some important brain-supporting molecules and neurotransmitters. These include vitamin D (which actually acts more like a hormone in the body more so than a vitamin) along with other hormones like testosterone and estrogen. (Source)
Many sea vegetables such as arame, dulse, hijiki, kelp, kombu, and nori contain omega-3 fatty acids that can help balance your hormones.
3. Weight Gain
A study found that people on low-fat diets consumed more carbs, resulting in less calories burned daily, compared to people on a low-carb, high-fat diet.
Weight loss elicits biological adaptations that result in a decline in energy expenditure (adaptive thermogenesis) and an increase in hunger, both of which promote weight regain. But certain studies have found that a higher-fat diet with lower carbs can help prevent this from happening.
On top on that, most people find that diets higher in fat are more satiating and turn off hunger signals and appetite much more so than lower-fat diets do. This is because fats turn on your fat-burning switch by impacting ghrelin hormone levels. (Source)
4. More Stomach Problems
Higher-fat, high-fiber diets lead to a healthier gut environment. Healthy fats feed the good bacteria in our guts.
A diet with plenty of naturally occurring fatty acids and nutrients supplies the building blocks needed to nourish not only a healthy gut, but also a healthy brain, both of which are very connected — also known as the brain/body connection.
Eating plenty of high-fiber plant foods (especially all vegetables) along with healthy fats feeds the good gut bacteria in the gut and produces the right balance needed to lower inflammation. (Source)
Try a snack with almond butter which is rich in fiber and fatty acids!