LOW FAT FOODS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO WEIGHT GAIN
When you go shopping, do you scour the shelves until you see the words ‘Low Fat’ or ‘Fat Free’? surely if you choose fat free strawberry yoghurt and low fat cheese, you will lose those extra pounds in no time. Unfortunately, research has shown otherwise.
SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
Research has shown that if two groups of people are sitting around a table where there is a large bowl of crisps on the table, they will eat about 40% more if the crisps are labelled as ‘low fat’ or ‘Lighter’. This has also been shown to be true of cakes labelled as ‘Healthy Eating’ or ‘Low Fat’.
This will mean that although you may be having less fat in your crisps or cake, you are actually eating more calories overall thereby scuppering your chances of weight loss.
WHAT’ IS IN LOW FAT FOODS?
Take time to stop and think about it; if you have just bought a food which has been labelled as ‘diet’, fat free’ or ‘low fat’, you may be feeling rather virtuous but if the manufacturer has taken out the fat, they have taken out some of the flavour too, this means they need to replace it with something – usually sugar in some form! So you may be eating less fat but your sugar consumption has just skyrocketed.
WHAT IF THEY REPLACE IT WITH ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS?
No, no, no. Artificial sweeteners have been shown to increase insulin levels. the problem is, that when your body consumes them, it is expecting calories and when it doesn’t get any it will increase you appetite to try and make you eat more.
SO IS IT WORTH BUYING ANY LOW FAT FOODS?
There are certain low fat foods that I will eat but you must treat them the same as if they were full fat. In other words, don’t think you can eat twice as much. Moderation is the key!
Natural yoghurt, plain cottage cheese and crisps ( but only ones in individual 25g packets). Natural yoghurt and cottage cheese have no need for large amounts of sugar as they are not replacing the fruit flavouring and if you eat crisps occasionally, the lighter versions are great as long as you make sure they are in small individual packets as this will keep your portion size in check.