According to the USDA, a low-fat diet as the name implies is a diet that consists of little fat, especially saturated fat and cholesterol, which are thought to lead to increased blood cholesterol levels and heart attack. It is important to know that dietary fat is needed for good health, as fats supply energy and fatty acids, in addition to supplying fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K. In recent years the exact health benefits of a low-fat diet have been debated. A 2006 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association concludes that a low-fat diet did not result in weight gain and did not reduce risk of colorectal or breast cancer among postmenopausal women. However, this study was criticized by several epidemiologists for its lack of validity (see 'Criticisms' in the Women's Health Initiative article).
Contributions by Grandia01, Bcgh345, and Mortopopescu.