The truth about fat and sugar-free foods
Fat- and sugar-free foods have become increasingly popular as many people turn to them for help achieving their weight loss goals. But it’s important to be aware of what fat and sugar free truly means.
As Jodi Upchurch, a registered dietitian at Advocate Eureka Hospital in Eureka, Ill., notes, “Foods that are fat or sugar free simply have less than 0.5 grams per serving. The issue then, is that people will eat more than the recommended serving by consuming more fat or sugar than they realize.”
Some of the most popular fat-free items include yogurt, mayo, salad dressings and even milk.
Traditional and new technologies provide flavorful, satisfying foods that are reduced in fat or contain no fat, such as salad and cooking oils, cheeses, ice cream, bakery products and salty snacks and crackers.
So, what do you need to know?
“All foods can be included in your diet, but only in moderation,” says Upchurch. Fats have twice as many calories per bite when compared to proteins and carbohydrates, so if weight loss is your goal, then opt for foods that are lower in fat and exercise portion control with all foods. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 30% of your diet comes from fat, the majority of which should come from things such as cooking oils, nuts, avocados and fish.
“A healthy diet should be based on the outer aisles of the grocery store,” recommends Upchurch.
This means when in doubt, choose fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats and low-fat dairy products.
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health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.