Dr Vinay Jadhav opines on the over-importance given to low fat diets

Do Balanced Low Fat Diets Work?

Dieting and exercising have been around since a long time, treated as solutions to lose the weight or hinder the weight gain process. There have been so many promises made through such diet programs or weight management programs. One such is that balanced low fat diets are the best diets to follow if you want to lose weight. Is this claim true? Is this the solution to the many weight gain issues at hand today? Is the ‘calories in and calories out’ factor worth so much attention? Dr Vinay Jadhav talks about the many myths and misconceptions that people have about weight loss diets.

Dr Vinay Jadhav begins by telling the general reasons for weight gain. There are the reasons why people put on weight and based on these reasons solutions need to be found:

  • 1.Childhood or teenage obesity- Childhood or teenage obesity largely contributes to substantial weight gain in people. This tendency reflects on the body since the excess weight is not lost over a period of time. The fat cells in the body are formed over the growth period and remain static in the body. Such people are more prone to store fats in their body. A obese child has more chances of being an obese adult.
  • 2.Unhealthy eating habits- Many people do not have a sense to eat right. These people easily attribute their weight gain to wrong medications, medical treatments, pregnancy or some exotic causes. There are no genetic connections which are otherwise believed to be true. An obese mother does not give birth to an obese daughter; the reason for the daughter’s obesity must be the mother’s wrong eating habits. This is called familial wrong eating habits.
  • 3.Fasting- Fasting is done for various reasons by people, either for religious reasons or for diets. It is a contributing factor to weight gain as it increases the fat forming tendency in the body. Since the body does not get enough food, it gives the starvation response due to which whatever little energy received from the little food consumed is stored in the body as fats. Thus fasting is one of the many reasons for weight gain in women and those who practice crash diets.

Now that we understand the general reasons for weight gain in people, Dr Vinay Jadhav talks about the balanced low fat diets. A low fat diet is mostly comprised of foods that have a low fat content, as the name suggests. In such diets, Dr Vinay Jadhav says that normal foods are replaced with foods like skimmed milk, rice, bread, breakfast cereals, dried fruits and lentils, frozen and tinned vegetables, egg whites, low fat yogurts etc.

Dr Vinay Jadhav says that ever since the rate of obesity began to increase (1977), the idea to inculcate a low fat diet has been largely appreciated. However, it has never shown any signs of conclusive success in weight loss or any difference in the body as expected. Dr Vinay Jadhav talks about a study conducted by National Institue of Health in order to test this low fat diet. This test was conducted in co-ordination with the Women’s Health Initiative. As a part of this test tens of thousands of women were randomly assigned diet modifications.

There was no classification in these women and all of them were given high vegetable, low fat, high cereal and fruit diet. Dr Vinay Jadhavtells that this trial lasted over 7.5 years in which a follow-up and difference between a control group, which was not on a diet was observed. The results suggested that there was no weight loss in the women on a low-fat dietand these women hardly varied in weight with those in the control group. Thus Dr Vinay Jadhav says that such trials have proved that a low fat diet does not do any magic for weight loss. It is only a psychological diet which helps people to keep their fats in check. Dr Vinay Jadhav also says that low fat foods like low-fat yogurt has artificial sweeteners which may have a whole new affecting side on the body.

Dr Vinay Jadhav opines that the body needs good, unclassified nutrition all based on its needs and hunger. To carry out simple tasks the body needs energy. This energy is derived from food. This energy comes from carbohydrates and fats.Proteins are not burnt for energy purposes and are used for building up body, replacing old cells, gastric juices and hormones.

No matter where this energy comes from, the body needs them. Even if your body has stored fats and you decide to go on a crash diet that will compel you to starve or skip meals, fats will start accumulating in your body because of the body’s starvation response. Dr Vinay Jadhav tells that instead of going on diets that restrict your intake of food or certain low carb or low fat diets, it is important to meet the needs of the body. Dr Vinay Jadhav also argues that even if you go on a low-fat diet, the body will constantly receive energy through other foods that you consume. Thus restricting the number of calories that you get from fat related foods will not change anything much.

Another fact about the low fat diets on which Dr Vinay Jadhav would like to stress on is that low fat diets advocate a reduction in the saturated fats, which are actually not harmful but may prove important to the blood-lipid profile. Dr Vinay Jadhav also states that low fat diets encourage vegetable oils that can contribute towards inflammation and may possibly increase the risk of heart disease. Apart from this, Dr Vinay Jadhav also shares that low fat diets discourage consumption of protein rich animal foods like eggs, fish and meat which may induce satiety and help in weight loss in a way. Dr VinayJadhav thus thinks that people should know every aspect of a diet before embarking upon it. Low fat diets have not shown a great success rate, though they create a mild difference, because they lack in the basics. Dr Vinay Jadhav says that these diets are a little more wrong than a little more right for the body.

  • 1.They do not address the issue of underlying metabolic problems associated with obesity.
  • 2.They replace saturated fats with vegetable oil which increases heart disease risk.
  • 3.They reduce sugar intake but may affect blood biomarkers like LDL (low-density lipoprotein) by altering them from benign to dangerous, dense, small artery-clogging LDLs.
  • 4. They do not decrease the risk of heart disease, cancer or any other major lifestyle diseases.




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*Disclaimer- This article is intended for informative purposes only. The views expressed in this article are the personal views of Dr Vinay Jadhav. Please consult a doctor for medical conditions.