Most of us have been conditioned to think that “low-fat” foods mean healthy foods. What you should know is that low-fat foods aren’t much better than their full-fat counterparts, and others are even worse. However, some foods like fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat yet very nutritious. The point is if the fat is low naturally then the food is good for you, but if the low-fat is due to processing, then you should be careful. Most of the processed low-fat foods contain a lot of sugar and unhealthy ingredients. If you’re trying to lower cholesterol or lose weight, you should look for foods with good fat not low-fat. Here are “low-fat” foods you should watch out for.
Low fat sandwich spreads like margarine contains highly processed vegetable oils that are harmful to your health. Even though they have less fat than the original spreads such as butter, some contain small amounts of trans fats which are associated with inflammation, obesity and heart disease. Be on the look for the light spreads which are being marketed as “heart-healthy”. It’s better if you use butter in moderation than processed low-fat spreads.
Low-Fat Sweetened Breakfast Cereals
The packaging claims that the product is low in fat contains fortified vitamins and minerals, and also “contains whole grains”. This makes the cereals appear to be healthy and an excellent meal for a good day. However, these breakfast cereals are loaded with sugar. Anything that contains high amounts of fructose like the white sugar, brown sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and honey, has a connection to obesity, kidney disease, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many other health complications. The Environmental Working Group proved that the average cold breakfast cereal contains nearly 25% sugar by weight which is not healthy for our bodies.
Low-Fat Salad Dressing
Salad dressing helps your body absorb antioxidants such as beta-carotene and lycopene found in tomatoes, carrots and red pepper. Low-fat salad dressings have no nutritional value and most of the manufacturers add sugar and artificial sweetener for them to taste good. These sugars can lead to blood sugar spikes. Additionally, bottled dressing contains a list of unhealthy additives and preservatives. Healthy salads contain natural fats like olive oil which is beneficial to the heart.
Reduced Fat Peanut Butter
Original peanut butter contains about 210 calories while the reduced-fat version of it contains 200 calories. However, for the reduced-fat peanut butter to have good taste and texture, the manufacturers add more sugar like the high-fructose corn syrup and additives. When buying peanut look for the one with only two ingredients, that is peanuts and salt. Such peanuts are valuable for appetite control, blood sugar, body weight, and heart health.
Low-Fat Flavored Yogurt
Low-fat flavored yogurt contains artificial colors, more sugar, added flavors and stabilizers which makes it unhealthy. Yogurt is, supposedly, a healthy food that helps with weight loss, improves body composition and increases levels of fullness hormones such as GLP-1 and PYY. Plus, nonfat yogurt has less conjugated linoleic acid which is available in dairy fat present in plain yogurt.
Low-Fat Flavored Coffee Drinks
Coffee contains antioxidants property responsible for a healthy heart and decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, caffeine in coffee helps improve your mental and physical performance including increased metabolic rate. This kind of coffee contains high levels of sugar which can lead to weight gain and heart disease, thus affecting your body negatively.
Low-Fat Baked Food
Low-fat baked food like muffins when packed contains 289 calories which are less than regular muffins which have 370 calories. However, these low-fat muffins contain 36g of sugar which is 42% of calories content compared to the regular muffins which have 29g of sugar. Also, low-fat muffins have a high glycemic index (GI) which is known for raising blood sugar quickly consequently increasing hunger that results in overeating leading to weight gain.
Don’t be misled to assume that low-fat, reduced-fat or fat-free foods are better and will help with weight loss. These foods contain often sugar, salt and additives to make them taste better. Research shows that these low-fat foods make overweight consumers eat more. These foods tend to increase their appetite for food and if not controlled it can increase heart disease. Check on the labels to avoid low- fat foods that do more harm than good. Go for natural food with no additives, preservatives or sugar. For proper health, consume natural, unprocessed and whole foods that contain healthy fats.
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