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Fat-Restricted Diet

Low-Fat Diet (50 Grams)

What Is a Fat-Restricted Diet?

A fat-restricted diet limits the fat you can eat each day.

Why Should I Follow This Diet?

This diet may be given to people with health problems that make it hard to process fat. Examples are chronic pancreatitis and gallbladder disease. A fat-restricted diet will lower the side effects of fat malabsorption, such as diarrhea, gas, and cramping.

The Diet Basics

A fat-restricted diet often limits fat to 50 grams per day. Fat has nine calories per gram. So, if you need 2,000 calories each day, this means about 22% of those calories can be from fat. The rest should be from carbs and proteins.

Most people can meet all nutrient needs on this diet. You may need a supplement 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.

Eating Guide for This Diet

This guide is broken down into categories based on the Choose My Plate website. You should work with a dietitian to find out how many servings of each category to eat. Here are some tips:

  • The base of your diet should be grains, veggies, and fruit. Try to eat foods from these three categories at each meal. Fruits and veggies should cover half of your plate at each meal. When eating grains, choose foods made with whole grains instead of refined grains.
  • Limit meat, fish, poultry, and eggs to six ounces per day.
  • Don't eat more than three 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 how you can add them into your diet. These foods have a lot of fat. They need to be added to your daily intake.
Food Category Foods to Eat Foods You Shouldn't Eat


  • 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
  • Popcorn without butter
  • Fried rice
  • Granola
  • Biscuits
  • Sweet rolls
  • Muffins, scones, coffee bread, and doughnuts
  • Most pancakes and waffles
  • Cheese bread


  • Fresh, frozen, or canned veggies
  • Veggies in butter, oil, or sauce
  • Fried veggies
  • Mashed potatoes made with butter, margarine, or cream
  • French fries


  • Fresh, frozen, canned, or dried fruits
  • Avocados, coconuts, and olives
  • Fruit made 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 three per week
  • Fatty cuts of meat
  • Duck or goose
  • Bacon
  • Sausage or hot dogs
  • Cold cuts
  • Fish canned in oil
  • Nuts and peanut butter

Limited Fats and Sweets

  • 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 than is more than you are allowed
  • Snack chips
  • Ice cream
  • Pastries, pie, cake, and cookies
  • Chocolate
  • Most candy


  • Coffee, tea
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Juice
  • Water
  • Coffee drinks made with fat-free milk
  • Cocoa made with fat-free milk
  • Frappes, milk shakes
  • Eggnog


  • Soups made from a fat-free milk or broth base
  • Herbs and spices
  • Salt in moderation
  • Cream soups
  • Non-dairy creamer

Eating Tips


Choose My Plate—US Department of Agriculture

Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


Canadian Association of Gastroenterology

Dietitians of Canada


Dietary guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015. Accessed December 3, 2018.

Dietary fat. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at:https://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/nursing-reference-center. Updated March 9, 2018. Accessed December 3, 2018.

Diets for weight loss. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T316887/Diets-for-weight-loss. Updated November 30, 2018. Accessed December 3, 2018.

What is MyPlate? Choose My Plate—US Department of Agriculture website. Available at: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate. Accessed December 3, 2018.

Last reviewed December 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardDianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN  Last Updated: 12/3/2018