Does a Low Fat Diet Reduce Cholesterol Levels?
The good news is a low fat diet is still an important part of overall health and wellness. The bad news is that for those of you fighting with high cholesterol, trimming the fat may not be the answer.
A recent study released by the Women's Health Initiative found that a diet low in fat had no effect on cholesterol levels in women. The intensive fifteen-year study tracked the health of women who were trained and educated in eating a diet in which 29 percent of their calories came from fat. Their results were compared to a control group of women whose diet consisted of 37 percent of calories from fat. The conclusion of the study was that a diet low in fat is healthy for your heart -- that's not surprising. A more interesting finding of the study was that the low-fat dieters did not see any positive (or negative, for that matter) effects on their cholesterol when compared to the control group.
Barbara Howard, the study's author and a Georgetown professor, encouraged readers to give the low-fat diet some credit. "[The diet] didn't do any of the adverse things that high-fat people have claimed," she said. She also pointed out that there was a lower risk of heart disease for women in the study who targeted specific kinds of fat, like saturated fat.