A fat-restricted diet limits the amount of fat you can eat each day.
This diet may be prescribed for people with medical conditions that make it difficult to digest fat. Examples include chronic
and gallbladder disease. A fat-restricted diet will minimize the unpleasant side effects of fat malabsorption, such as
diarrhea, gas, and cramping.
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
need fat to be absorbed. Your doctor or a dietitian may recommend supplements for these vitamins.
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|
| Whole-grain breadsLow-fat whole-grain cerealsRicePasta or noodlesHomemade pancakes or French toast made with minimal fatLow-fat crackersBaked chipsPretzelsUnbuttered popcorn|| Fried riceGranolaBiscuitsSweet rollsMuffins, scones, coffee bread, and doughnutsMost pancakes and wafflesCheese bread|
| Fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables|| Vegetables prepared with butter, oil, or sauceFried vegetablesMashed potatoes made with butter, margarine, or creamFrench fries|
| Fresh, frozen, canned, or dried fruits|| Avocados, coconuts, and olivesFruit prepared with butter, cream, or sauce|
| Fat-free-like nonfat, skim milkLow-fat or nonfat cheesesFat-free yogurt or kefirFat-free buttermilk|| Reduced fat (2%) or whole milkChocolate milkCream like whipped, heavy, or sourWhole milk yogurtRegular cheese|
| Lean meatsChicken or turkey without the skinLean fishBeans and legumesEgg whites; limit whole eggs to 3 per week|| Fatty cuts of meatDuck or gooseBaconSausage or hot dogsCold cutsFish canned in oilNuts and peanut butter|
Fats and Sweets
| HoneyJamHard candiesJelly beansMarshmallowsLow-fat or fat-free ice cream or frozen yogurtSherbets or fruit iceJell-OAngel food cake|| Butter, margarine, lard, and shortening in excess of allowed amountSnack chipsIce creamPastries, pie, cake, and cookiesChocolateMost candy|
| Coffee, teaCarbonated beveragesJuiceWaterCoffee drinks made with fat-free milkCocoa made with fat-free milk|| Frappes, milk shakesEggnog|
| Soups made from a fat-free milk or broth baseHerbs and spicesSalt in moderation|| Cream soupsNon-dairy creamer|
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.
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.
Last reviewed October 2015 by Dianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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