Fat-Restricted DietEn Español (Spanish Version)
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
, gas, and cramping.
A fat-restricted diet typically limits fat intake to 50 grams per day. Fat contains nine 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 three 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 (eg, 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 CategoryFoods RecommendedFoods to Avoid
- Whole grain breads
- Low-fat whole grain cereals
- Pasta or noodles
- Homemade pancakes or French toast made with minimal fat
- Low-fat crackers
- Baked chips
- Unbuttered popcorn
- Fried rice
- Sweet rolls
- Muffins, scones, coffee bread, doughnuts
- Most pancakes and waffles
- Cheese bread
- Fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables
- Vegetables prepared with butter, oil, or sauce
- Fried vegetables
- Mashed potatoes made with butter, margarine, or cream
- French fries
- Fresh, frozen, canned, or dried fruits
- Avocados, coconuts, and olives
- Fruit prepared with butter, cream, or sauce
- 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
- 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
- Sausage or hot dogs
- Cold cuts
- Fish canned in oil
- Nuts and peanut butter
Fats and Sweets
- Hard candies
- Jelly beans
- Low-fat or fat-free ice cream or frozen yogurt
- Sherbets or fruit ice
- Angel food cake
- Butter, margarine, lard, shortening in excess of allowed amount
- Snack chips
- Ice cream
- Pastries, pie, cake, and cookies
- Most candy
- Coffee, tea
- Carbonated beverages
- Coffee drinks made with fat-free milk
- Cocoa made with fat-free milk
- Frappes, milk shakes
- Soups made from a fat-free milk or broth base
- Herbs and spices
- Salt in moderation
- Cream soups
- Non-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 one 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 two or three 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.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Choose My Plate—US Department of Agriculture
Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
Daily Food Plans & Worksheets. Choose My Plate—US Department of Agriculture website. Available at:
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/supertracker-tools/daily-food-plans.html. 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.
Dietary guidelines for Americans 2010. US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services. Available at:
http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2010/DietaryGuidelines2010.pdf. Accessed November 17, 2014.
Last Reviewed September 2013