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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 that a person 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. This includes problems like 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 a person needs 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. A supplement may be needed if fat is very limited or the diet needs to be followed 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. A dietitian can help a person find out how many servings of each category to eat. Here are some tips:

  • The base of the 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 the 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.
  • Do not eat more than three teaspoons of fat per day.
  • Enjoy low-fat or fat-free sweets or snack foods in moderation.
  • People who enjoy healthy fats (nuts, olives, and avocados), should ask their doctor or dietitian how they can be added into the diet. These foods have a lot of fat. They need to be added to the daily intake.
Food Category Foods to Eat Foods to Avoid

Grains

  • 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

Vegetables

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

Fruit

  • Fresh, frozen, canned, or dried fruits
  • Avocados, coconuts, and olives
  • Fruit made with butter, cream, or sauce

Milk

  • 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

Proteins

  • 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 what is allowed
  • Snack chips
  • Ice cream
  • Pastries, pie, cake, and cookies
  • Chocolate
  • Most candy

Beverages

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

Other

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

Eating Tips

  • Look for these key phrases on food labels: low-fat, nonfat, and fat-free.
  • Choose foods that have less than three grams of fat per serving. Be sure to eat only one serving.
  • Do not eat fried and sautéed foods. Use low-fat cooking methods, such as baking, roasting, broiling, poaching, grilling, boiling, or steaming.
  • Choose lean cuts of meat, such as loin and round. Trim fat before cooking.
  • Eat small meals more often. This will make it easier for the body to process fat that may be eaten.
  • Work with a dietitian to help choose the right foods.
RESOURCES:

Choose My Plate—US Department of Agriculture
http://www.choosemyplate.gov

Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
http://www.eatright.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
http://www.cag-acg.org

Dietitians of Canada
http://www.dietitians.ca

REFERENCES:

Dietary fat. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: https://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/nursing-reference-center. Accessed July 23, 2021.

Dietary guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 and online materials. US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/resources/2020-2025-dietary-guidelines-online-materials. Accessed July 23, 2021.

Diets for weight loss. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/management/diets-for-weight-loss. Accessed July 23, 2021.

What is MyPlate? My Plate—US Department of Agriculture website. Available at: https://www.myplate.gov/eat-healthy/what-is-myplate. Accessed July 23, 2021.

Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardDianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN  Last Updated: 7/23/2021