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Many processed fat-free or low-fat foods have just as many, or more, calories as the full-fat foods.
That is because usually sugar is added to the low-fat versions to make up for the flavor that is lost when the fat is removed. The end result … you eat more calories and gain more weight.
And in reduced-fat foods, goods fats may have been replaced with bad fats.
Take for instance peanut butter. Often times the naturally good fat is removed from low-fat versions of peanut butter and replaced with sugar and hydrogenated oil. This leaves us with minimal calorie reduction (or perhaps increased calories), double the carbs, and less heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.
Another example of good fat being lost … fat-free dressings on salads. Not only are these dressings commonly loaded with sugar to boost the taste, but necessary fat is removed. Fat in dressing helps our body absorb fat-soluble nutrients found in vegetables, such as lycopene, vitamin K, beta-carotene, and lutein. Salad dressing fats also increase brain function, energy production, and, for women, hormone development. A good choice for salad dressing would be a balsamic vinaigrette which is an oil-based dressing that has a lot of taste in a small amount.
So once again, we have a case where labels are deceiving.
Be sure to read the nutrition facts on the label and compare calories and sugars of fat-free foods to original foods. And don’t overlook the serving size. Sometimes fat-free foods use smaller serving sizes so it appears as though you’ll be eating fewer calories and less fat.