The study, which involved more than 70,000 individuals, found that those who ate less fat reduced body weight by 1.6 kg, BMI by 0.56 and waist circumference by 0.5 cm, compared to those eating their usual amount of fat.
What's interesting is that the research specifically looked at people who were not aiming to lose weight -- they were cutting down on fat, but they were continuing to consume a normal amount of food. "What surprised us was that they did lose weight, their BMI decreased and their waists became slimmer. On top of this, they kept their weight down over at least seven years," says lead researcher Dr Lee Hooper from UEA's Norwich Medical School.
To embark on a low-fat diet the healthy way, just follow Dr. Hooper's easy, no-extreme-dieting approach:
Aim to cut down on bad fats"Cutting down on saturated fat reduces our risk of heart disease and strokes, so the healthiest way to cut down on fat is to cut down on saturated fats," explains Dr Hooper.
- Have low-fat dairy. Pick low-fat milk and yogurt over full-fat versions. Limit your consumption of butter and cheese, which are high in saturated fats.
- Choose lean cuts of meat, fish and poultry. Trim the fat off meat and remove the skin from poultry.
- Have fruit instead of fatty snacks like biscuits, cake and crisps.
- Cut back on saturated oils (coconut and palm oils) and replace with healthy unsaturated oils such as olive oil, canola oil and vegetable oils.
- For more tips on how to reduce your fat intake, see our low-fat foods shopping list.