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Fat-Restricted Diet

Low-Fat Diet (50 Grams)
  • What Is a Fat-Restricted Diet?

    A fat-restricted diet limits the amount of fat you can eat each day.
  • Why Should I Follow a Fat-Restricted Diet?

    This diet may be prescribed for people with medical conditions that make it difficult to digest fat. Examples include chronic pancreatitis and gallbladder disease. A fat-restricted diet will minimize the unpleasant side effects of fat malabsorption, such as diarrhea, gas, and cramping.
  • Fat-Restricted Diet Basics

    A fat-restricted diet typically limits fat intake to 50 grams per day. Fat contains 9 calories per gram. So, if you need 2,000 calories per day, this means only about 22% of those calories can be from fat. The rest should be from carbohydrates and proteins.
    For most people, it is possible to meet all nutrient requirements on this diet. However, a supplement may be recommended if fat is very limited or you are on the diet for a long time. Vitamins A, D, E, and K need fat to be absorbed. Your doctor or a dietitian may recommend supplements for these vitamins.
  • Eating Guide for a Fat-Restricted Diet

    The following guide is broken down into categories based on the Choose My Plate website recommendations for healthy eating. It is recommended that you work with a dietitian to determine how many servings of each category you should eat. Here are some general recommendations:
    • The base of your diet should be composed of grains, vegetables, and fruit. Strive to eat foods from these 3 categories at each meal. Fruits and vegetables should cover half of your plate at each meal. When eating grains, choose foods made with whole grains instead of refined grains.
    • Limit your intake of meat, fish, poultry, and eggs to 6 ounces per day.
    • Consume no more than 3 teaspoons of fat per day.
    • Enjoy low-fat or fat-free sweets or snack foods in moderation.
    • If you enjoy healthy fats (nuts, olives, and avocados), ask your doctor or dietitian about how you can add these foods into your diet. Since these foods have a lot of fat, they need to be added to your day's intake of fat.
    Food Category Foods Recommended Foods to Avoid
    Grains
    • Whole-grain breads
    • Low-fat whole-grain cereals
    • Rice
    • Pasta or noodles
    • Homemade pancakes or French toast made with minimal fat
    • Low-fat crackers
    • Baked chips
    • Pretzels
    • Unbuttered popcorn
    • Fried rice
    • Granola
    • Biscuits
    • Sweet rolls
    • Muffins, scones, coffee bread, and doughnuts
    • Most pancakes and waffles
    • Cheese bread
    Vegetables
    • Fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables
    • Vegetables prepared with butter, oil, or sauce
    • Fried vegetables
    • Mashed potatoes made with butter, margarine, or cream
    • French fries
    Fruit
    • Fresh, frozen, canned, or dried fruits
    • Avocados, coconuts, and olives
    • Fruit prepared with butter, cream, or sauce
    Milk
    • Fat-free-like nonfat, skim milk
    • Low-fat or nonfat cheeses
    • Fat-free yogurt or kefir
    • Fat-free buttermilk
    • Reduced fat (2%) or whole milk
    • Chocolate milk
    • Cream like whipped, heavy, or sour
    • Whole milk yogurt
    • Regular cheese
    Proteins
    • Lean meats
    • Chicken or turkey without the skin
    • Lean fish
    • Beans and legumes
    • Egg whites; limit whole eggs to 3 per week
    • Fatty cuts of meat
    • Duck or goose
    • Bacon
    • Sausage or hot dogs
    • Cold cuts
    • Fish canned in oil
    • Nuts and peanut butter
    Fats and Sweets in moderation
    • Honey
    • Jam
    • Hard candies
    • Jelly beans
    • Marshmallows
    • Low-fat or fat-free ice cream or frozen yogurt
    • Sherbets or fruit ice
    • Jell-O
    • Angel food cake
    • Butter, margarine, lard, and shortening in excess of allowed amount
    • Snack chips
    • Ice cream
    • Pastries, pie, cake, and cookies
    • Chocolate
    • Most candy
    Beverages
    • Coffee, tea
    • Carbonated beverages
    • Juice
    • Water
    • Coffee drinks made with fat-free milk
    • Cocoa made with fat-free milk
    • Frappes, milk shakes
    • Eggnog
    Other
    • Soups made from a fat-free milk or broth base
    • Herbs and spices
    • Salt in moderation
    • Cream soups
    • Non-dairy creamer
  • Suggestions on Eating a Fat-Restricted Diet

    • Look for the following key phrases on food labels: low-fat, nonfat, and fat-free.
    • Choose foods that contain less than 3 grams of fat per serving. Be sure to eat only 1 serving.
    • Avoid fried and sautéed foods. Use low-fat cooking methods, such as baking, roasting, broiling, poaching, grilling, boiling, or steaming.
    • Select lean cuts of meat, such as loin and round. Trim visible fat before cooking.
    • Eat small frequent meals, rather than 2 or 3 large meals. This will make it easier for your body to digest any fat that you consume.
    • Work with a registered dietitian to come up with an individualized diet plan.
  • RESOURCES

    Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics http://www.eatright.org

    Choose My Plate—US Department of Agriculture http://www.choosemyplate.gov

    CANADIAN RESOURCES

    Canadian Association of Gastroenterology http://www.cag-acg.org

    Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca

    References

    Daily food plans & worksheets. US Department of Agriculture Choose My Plate website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/tools-daily-food-plans. Accessed November 17, 2014.

    Dietary guidelines for Americans 2010. US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2010/DietaryGuidelines2010.pdf. Accessed November 17, 2014.

    Diets for weight loss. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated October 8, 2014. Accessed November 17, 2014.

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