For years, those of us watching our weight, managing our cholesterol levels and eating for a healthy heart have opted for the "low-fat" option. But are these low-fat foods really as good for us as we originally thought? Here are 5 reasons that may make you think twice before choosing low fat products.
1. Fat-free and low-fat foods are often full of sugar, flour, and thickeners, all of which can wreck havoc on your waistline. When fat is removed, the food loses its taste, so it must be replaced by something else. These high-taste stand-ins are digested too quickly to satiate, thus people often feel free to eat almost twice as much low-fat food without the guilt.
2. The Low-Fat Diet Discourages Consumption of Healthy Foods because they contain saturated fat and cholesterol. Nevertheless, animal foods that are naturally high in fat tend to be healthy and nutritious. While I agree that factory farmed, grain-fed animal products aren’t an optimal choice, foods from animals that have been properly raised and fed are very healthy. What’s more, neither saturated fat nor cholesterol have ever been proven to cause harm.
3. Low-fat bakery items are an illusion! Low fat products like muffins and pastries aren't any better for you than the full-fat varieties. A packaged low-fat blueberry muffin from one popular brand, for instance, packs 280 calories—that's less than the regular muffin with 370 calories. But the low-fat one has more sugar (36 versus 29 grams), and just like the regular version, contains high fructose corn syrup.
4. Along with protein, fat makes you feel full, and because fat carries flavor, it makes food more satisfying. It takes twice as many calories from refined carbs than from fats to provide the same level of fullness, which makes fat a better choice if you want to lose weight.
5. Low-fat foods weaken the immune system and slow the body’s healing process, making it less effective. A lack of fats and cholesterol can allow damage in arteries and veins to reach critical levels and may lead to heart attacks, strokes or even organ failure.
Now that you know the downside of low-fat foods, you can make an informed choice!