Fat-Restricted or High-Fat Diets

Caitlin Love

Article Summary

Can Extremely Fat-Restricted or High-Fat Diets be Effective - and Safe - for Weight Loss?

Author: Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN, LDN

Source: foodandnutrition.org

Publication Date: December 18, 2015

This article talks about two different diets that concern fat and whether they are safe and effective for weight loss. One of the diets mentioned is a fat-restricted (or oil-free) diet. This diet restricts all dietary fat because of the belief that consuming too much fat could lead to heart disease. The article also discusses another diet that is high in dietary fat (the ketogenic diet). This diet began as a treatment for epilepsy in young children that didn’t involve prescription drugs. The diet is now widely used for weight loss because it eliminates the body’s carbohydrate reservoir, thereby forcing the body to use the fat stores for energy.

Both of these diets have proven successful at helping an individual lose weight, but as the article discusses they both have some drawbacks. The fat-restricted diet requires the individual to take vitamin B12 supplements. Some health experts are also concerned about the absorption of other vitamins, such as A, D, E, K, because they are fat-soluble vitamins. The high-fat diet may increase risk factors for heart disease. Vitamin and mineral supplementation is also sometimes necessary with high-fat diets.

The conclusion the author reached in this article is that a person should always consult a dietician to help them decide which diet is best for them, or if they even need to adhere to a diet. While both diets have some good points, both also have drawbacks that could be detrimental to a person should they not follow the direction of a dietician, or be under the care of a physician.

Article Critique

The author, Vicki Shanta Retelny, is a registered dietitian and a licensed dietitian and, with those credentials, would be very knowledgeable about the topic she is discussing in this article. She is also writing for a fairly well known food and nutrition magazine. The magazine is published bi-monthly and all of the publishing, editorial, and placement decisions are based on a panel of editors.

This well-written article is easy for a lay-person to understand as Ms. Retelny does not rely on medical terminology to convey the message she delivers on the two different diets. Thus, we are encouraged to continue reading the article to its conclusion and not merely skim through it. Ms. Retelny describes the various vitamins and supplements you should also incorporate into your daily diet and helps us understand the balance between good health and “looking good”.

To give credence to the belief that consuming large amounts of dietary fat is bad for you, the author sites a study done by Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D. This study found that after 3½ years of eating a diet that was oil-free, 89 percent of participants had “a lower rate of subsequent cardiac events.” (Retenly, foodandnutrition.org) For the ketogenic diet, Ms. Retelny discusses a study done in 2005 whose data showed that by increasing fat in the diet, the participant’s cholesterol increased by 10 to 25 percent. “Long-term adherence to a high-fat diet may be detrimental to heart health.” (Retenly, foodandnutrition.org)

Being able to draw a conclusion from her discussion is bolstered by the references to several studies on these diets that were conducted by researchers and professors. These various studies make the readers feel more confident in the information that has been presented and recognizes the credibility of the author and article.


Article Link: http://www.foodandnutrition.org/January-February-2016/Oil-Free-Plant-based-Diet-Versus-Ketogenic-Diet/

Retelny, V.S. (2015, December 18). Can Extremely Fat-Restricted or High-Fat Diets be Effecrive – and Safe – for Weight Loss? Retreived April 7, 2016, from http://www.foodandnutrition.org/January-February-2016/Oil-Free-Plant-based-Diet-Versus-Ketogenic-Diet/