Leafy greens contain virtually no fat and are loaded with beneficial minerals and vitamins, including calcium, potassium, folate and vitamins A and K. Not surprisingly, studies suggest that diets high in leafy greens may protect against certain conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer 6, 7. Fresh leafy greens can be added to salads or smoothies. Almost all fruits are low in fat and high in vitamins, minerals and fiber. In your body, antioxidants guard against harmful, unstable molecules known as free radicals. Cellular damage from free radicals is linked to aging, heart disease, arthritis, cancer and other conditions 5, 8. Fortunately, many studies suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables can reduce free radical damage due to their high antioxidant content 9,
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider. Trying to lower your cholesterol? Use these recipe modifications and substitutions to significantly lower the cholesterol and fat content of standard meals. Weight management involves adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes a knowledge of nutrition, exercise, and a positive attitude.
A diet that is generally low in fat can help you to lose weight, or to maintain a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight will reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, diabetes and certain types of cancer. For several decades, the standard advice to people who want to lose weight has been to eat a low-fat diet. However, there is a growing body of evidence which suggests that a diet high in carbohydrates, particularly sugar, is a common trigger for obesity in many individuals, and that eating fat is not what makes us gain weight. In this case, a low carbohydrate diet such as the Atkins Diet is also an effective way of losing weight. In studies in which low-fat and low-carbohydrate diets have been compared, both have been found to be effective, and individuals should find an eating pattern that works well for them, taking into account their lifestyle and what sort of foods they like.