Life Style

9 Low-Fat Foods That Might Not Be Good For You

The craze for low-fat diets during the 1980s and 1990s, well-intentioned as it may have been, is now viewed by today’s health professionals as having done more harm than good. The notion that reducing fat intake would lead to decreased calories and subsequently aid in weight loss has been debunked by current knowledge revealing that not all fats are equal. Certain fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats, offer substantial health benefits like inflammation reduction and heart health promotion. The complexity of the health effects of saturated fats is now better understood than previously believed...READ THE FULL STORY HERE▶

Despite the various types of fats, it is essential to recognize that fat is not something to be vilified but rather a crucial macronutrient necessary for human survival. It is now apparent that consuming fats does not directly result in weight gain. Despite this awareness, some food manufacturers still offer low-fat versions of their products. While individuals with specific medical requirements for a low-fat diet may find these options beneficial, for many, such excessively engineered low-fat foods are not only unnecessary but could potentially be harmful. The process of removing natural fats often necessitates the addition of less nutritious fillers, emulsifiers, and other ingredients.

Before you snag a “light” or “diet” food off the grocery shelf, check out this list of 9 low-fat items that aren’t as healthy as you might think.

Low-fat ice cream

Tub of ice cream

Eliminating the fat content in ice cream and other frozen treats not only diminishes the enjoyment of these desserts but also leads to the inclusion of additives that lack the nutritional value present in real dairy products. Ice cream made with genuine full-fat milk provides essential calcium and protein required for good health. Some studies even suggest that the consumption of whole dairy products is not generally associated with a higher risk of weight gain, heart disease, or type 2 diabetes.

Sometimes, selecting a low-fat version doesn’t even save you that much fat. Kroger’s Low-Fat Vanilla Ice Cream contains just 2.5 fewer grams of fat than its Deluxe Artisan Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.

Low-fat peanut butter

jar of peanut butter

Don’t fear the fat in peanut butter! According to Harvard Health, full-fat peanut butter has the same saturated-to-unsaturated fat ratio as olive oil, one of the heart-healthiest foods around. In fact, Harvard reports that many studies have shown people who regularly eat peanut butter have a lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes than those who rarely include it.

Besides, to take the fat out of peanut butter, you have to take out some of the most critical ingredients: peanuts! Jif’s Reduced-Fat Creamy Peanut Butter is only 60% peanuts (the remainder of its creaminess comes from pea protein and hydrogenated vegetable oils).

 17 Healthiest Peanut Butters To Buy, Say Dietitians

Light mayonnaise

jar of mayonnaise

Traditional mayo gets its signature richness from egg yolks, which contain about 5 grams of fat each. So how do you make the sandwich spread without ’em? The answer isn’t pretty. Low-fat mayos frequently add thickeners, such as modified food starch, and lean on soybean oil, rather than eggs, for smoothness. Though these ingredients aren’t dangerous, they don’t offer the nutrition of real egg yolks, which contain vitamins like A, B12, and D, plus antioxidants like lutein, zeaxanthin, and selenium.

Low-fat energy bars

Granola bars

Energy bars have a so-called “health halo,” making it easy to believe they’re inherently nutritious. But that’s not always the case. Low-fat energy bars can be ultra-processed and packed with funky ingredients. Protein One’s Strawberries and Cream bars, for example, may be low-fat at just 2 grams per bar, but their ingredient list reads like a chemical formula of artificial flavors, colors, syrups, and oils.

Low-fat cookies

Chocolate chip cookies

Believe it or not, high sugar consumption has been more consistently linked with weight gain than high fat consumption. Since low-fat cookies are often high-sugar, choosing them is a tradeoff that’s probably not worth making.

Take Oreo Thins. Their first ingredient is sugar, and the small amount of fat they contain comes partly from palm oil, a tropical oil that has been linked with low environmental sustainability. If you’re gonna have a cookie, you might as well enjoy a full-fat version with higher-quality ingredients.

 The 30 Unhealthiest Snacks on the Planet

Margarine

Woman's hands holding slice of white bread and knife. Opened plastic pack of light yellow margarine on pastel blue desk

There’s a good reason margarine has fallen in popularity since its 1970s glory days. According to Harvard Health, “there never was any good evidence that using margarine instead of butter cut the chances of having a heart attack or developing heart disease.” Some margarines may be lower in fat than real butter, but both are high in calories, so they’re both foods to use sparingly.

 12 Healthiest Butter Substitute Brands, According to Nutritionists

Low-fat salad dressing

hand pouring bowl of salad dressing on top of salad

If you don’t pay attention while you pour, salad dressing can easily add up to a lot of calories. After all, most dressings are made with oil! It makes sense, then, that a low-fat version could help you cut back on your calorie intake.

Still, watch out for low-fat dressings. Some make up for their low fat content by adding extra sweeteners and starches. Hidden Valley Original Fat-Free Ranch, for example, lists corn syrup as its third ingredient, and then goes on to feature a laundry list of artificial colors and preservatives.

 9 Best & Worst Ranch Dressings on Store Shelves, Say Dietitians

Low-fat canned soup

Eating soup

Just because a soup is “light” doesn’t mean it’s a picture of health. Many canned soups are still chock-full of sodium. Progresso’s Light Broccoli Cheese Soup, for example, contains 720 milligrams of sodium (32% of the Daily Value) per cup. It also provides minimal protein at just 4 grams per serving.

Low-fat crunchy snacks

chips and pretzels

While low-fat chips, pretzels, or puffs may offer fewer calories than their full-fat versions, one thing doesn’t change: these foods are still usually highly processed. To be a savvy, healthy eater, look at labels to see what you’re getting. Low-fat or not, a lengthy ingredient list is a red flag that your crunchy fix isn’t boosting your health.

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Tiara Clephin

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