Just because a product says fat free or low fat doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthier or even lower in calories. Most low-fat or fat-free products add sugar or other unhealthy ingredients to make up for the lack of taste.
Your body needs healthy forms of fat to keep cell walls strong and regulate hormones such as testosterone which helps fuel your sex drive. Testosterone also influences other body tissues and bone mass. So eating a certain amount of fat is necessary. Here are a few reasons why fat-free isn’t always the best choice.
1. Check the Label on Salad Dressing
Stop and think when assembling your low-cal salad. Low-fat dressing seems like a viable option but it isn’t necessarily. Low-fat dressing may be low in calorie, but it blocks absorption of precious nutrients like carotenoids which help protect your body’s cells. Just 1/5 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil drizzled onto a salad is enough to get the best out of your veggies.
2. Why Fat-Free Milk and Low-Fat Yoghurt Isn’t a Good Choice
When you take all the fat out of milk your body doesn’t absorb the vitamins and minerals that the milk is fortified with. These vitamins and minerals are fat-soluble. They are stored in the liver and needed for the proper absorption of essential vitamins.
Skim or 1% milk contain higher levels of added nutrients than fat-free milk. So when you require more calcium from your milk, skim or 1% is still the best choice. Yoghurt is a tasty and popular snack, especially if you’re in a hurry. Some low-fat brands make up for their lack of fat with artificial sweeteners which make you crave more sugar, risking weight gain. Some experts also believe that artificial sweeteners may be addictive.
If you must have low-fat yoghurt, try Greek yoghurt. Many brands have no added sweeteners. That is a healthy snack choice anyone can go for.
3. Why Not Reduced Fat Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter is very high in fat and calories, but the fat in peanut butter is healthy monosaturated fat which helps decrease inflammation, raises healthy cholesterol levels and promotes weight loss. Reduced fat peanut butter takes away the healthy fat and replaces it with sugar. So next time you’re at the market, do yourself and your family a favor and buy regular peanut butter but with no sugar added.
4. Fat-Free Junk Food Is Bad for You?
Unfortunately, yes. We would all love a magic, guiltless food that never made us fat or unhealthy. Cookies, potato chips, and ice cream are always going to be unhealthy choices. Sadly the fat-free versions might actually be worse for you than their full-fat counterparts.
Low-fat or fat-free cookies contain extra sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, which can lead to high triglyceride levels. These elevated levels put the consumer at risk for developing coronary artery disease and gaining weight. Some brands of potato chips contain chemicals that mimic fat but cause issues like intestinal cramps, gas and diarrhea, and are likely to cause weight gain.
When shopping for chips, try baked versions which don’t contain artificial fats at all. Fat helps your body to feel full and helps you to realise when you are full. Fat-free ice cream might be low in fat but often it’s still high in calorie.
It is always a smart idea to read the label before purchasing something that might be bad for your health and that of your family. So be aware when “trimming the fat” from your diet.
Photo credit: Cy-V