Myth = It is true that a low-fat or non-fat food is often lower in fat than the same size portion of the full-fat natural version, so fat-free products may help reduce overall dietary fat, but they are not the magical formula for attaining and maintaining a healthy weight.
The primary reason why low/non-fat food is not the answer is because fat-free does not mean calorie free. Processed low-fat or non-fat food may contain added sugar, flour, or starch thickeners required to improve the flavor and texture as a result of the absence of fat. Simply, these ingredients do not add fat, they add calories. Compare many low and full fat versions of the same food, you will most likely find that the low-fat version contains more calories, ouch!
Studies show that when people see “low-fat” on a label, they tend to see it as a “free pass” to eating more and wonder why they are not succeeding in reducing their weight. The answer, you are eating more calories and more sugar resulting in insulin spikes that invite weight gain and fat storage.
Nutrition Recommendations for Canadians, by Health Canada, recommends that a healthy diet should include no more than 30% of daily calories from fat and no more than 10% as saturated fat.
Our bodies need certain fat for health. These fats are called essential fatty acids because the body does not make them. There are two types of essential fatty acids:linoleic acid and linolenic acid. Our need for fat is basic to survival because fat performs many important tasks, such as the formation of cell membranes and the synthesis of fundamental chemicals.
Given our fat-rich diet, adequate intake is usually not the issue, it’s more the type of fats we are consuming that we need to be mindful of. We will look at that closer in the next post of this series.
- Estimate your daily caloric intake. We will use 2100 calories as an example.
- Drop the last digit: 210
- Divide that value by 3 = fat grams per day = 70
Action Step to Successful Weight Loss: Check out those fat-free labels the next time you visit a grocery store and look up in the sky and say “thank you Rob” and just head straight to the produce, dairy and meat sections.
And as always, feel free to reach out and suggest a myth to successful weight loss you may want clarified. I look forward to your feedback and words of wisdom.
Friday’s Myths/Facts Types of Food 2D: Trans Fats are the most unhealthy fat and should be avoided.
I have your back, we become what we think about!