Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fat Free or Full Fat

When we are trying to lose weight, we sometimes want to cut calories by cutting fat. After all, we are trying to lose fat, right? However, eating many “fat-free” products can actually sabotage your weight-loss efforts.

FDA Definitions:
Fat Free: The product contains less than 0.5 gram of fat per serving. 
Reduced or Less Fat:The product has at least 25% less fat per serving than the full-fat version.
Low Fat:  The product contains three grams or less of fat per serving. 
Light: The product has up to 50 percent less fat than its full-fat counterpart.

Fat-free doesn’t mean calorie free and most fat-free products have just as many calories as a regular version due to added sugar or starch. But don’t banish all fat: Aim to get 25 to 35 percent of your total calories from good fats ― sources like canola and olive oils, nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish, like salmon.

Keep in mind: When removing fat, manufacturers often add extra sugar or starch to keep products palatable. Also, fat-free products may cause people to overeat, most likely because the products are less satisfying or they feel they have extra calories they can use because the product was “fat-free”.

Bottom line: Skip the often-tasteless fat-free stuff and instead choose low-fat foods, which are more filling, or have a smaller amount of the full-fat version.

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