Low-Fat Diet Why Fat-Free Isnt Trouble-Free
Weight loss and diet are popular New Year’s resolutions, and with 2018 ringing in, it’s no wonder if you have a similar resolution. Low-fat diets are the all-time fad, but are they truly healthy? Here’s what you need to know about going low-fat and why a fat-free diet for weight loss isn’t always trouble-free.
What Happens When You Don’t Have Enough Fat In Your Diet?
Healthy fats enable the body to absorb soluble fats and vital nutrients. By skipping on lean meat portions and the occasional turkey, you’ll be compromising your hormone levels and immune system functionality. A diet void or very low in healthy fats interfere with building muscle mass and slows down weight loss. Fats help your body regulate metabolism and provide a plethora of vital nutrients which are essential for the growth of healthy hair, nails, and even promotes healthy skin tone throughout the body. Lack of fat in diet symptoms range from poor cognitive function, depression and anxiety, overeating, weight gain, and hormonal imbalances in men and women.
Are Low-Fat Foods Really So?
Nutrition labels may state foods as fat-free or low-fat, but even fat-free foods aren’t truly fat-free. The US FDA allows labels to claim foods to be free of trans-fats if the percentage contained in them is 0.5% and below. Moreover, there are “fat-free,” “low-fat,” “light,” and “reduced-fat” products available. Here’s what those terms mean:
- “Fat-free” foods must have less than 0.5 gram of fat per serving.
- “Low-fat” foods must have 3 grams of fat or less per serving.
- “Reduced-fat” foods must have at least 25% less fat than regular versions of those foods.
- “Light” foods must have either 1/3 fewer calories or 50% less fat.
Pay Attention To The Serving Size…
Also. how much “low-free” the food becomes depends on the number of portions you consume. While the nutrient content on the food label is usually displayed per serving, you might actually be consuming multiple servings at a time. For example, if a box of pasta is supposed to have two servings, but actually ends up being only sufficient for one person, it is still considered two servings. Hence, you’d have to double the calories and other nutrient values displayed in order to calculate the nutrient content of your meal. So, the next time you cuddle up in front of the TV with a tub of ice-cream, remember that you might actually be eating what the manufacturers refer to as 4-6 portions!
…And Also The Fat Substitute.
Also, just because a product is labeled ‘fat-free’ or ‘low-fat’ doesn’t mean it’s healthier or even lower in calories. One needs to pay careful attention as low-fat or fat-free foods will have sugar and chemicals to make up for the loss in taste / preservative, which renders them poor nutritional choices. For example, Maltodextrin is a common ingredient in low-fat foods and is a “digestible carbohydrate made from rice, corn, or potato starch.” It’s a substance made from hydrolyzed corn starch (usually from genetically modified corn) and may include free glutamates (MSG). Now, it is not technically sugar, but within an hour of eating it, your body will recognize it as sugar and break it down accordingly.
To put it simply, for any diet plan to work, moderation is key and it rings true where fats are concerned too with healthy eating. Fats are healthy and by cutting them out, you’ll be missing out on their health benefits. Eat small frequent meals, go-low carb, and incorporate healthy high-fat foods like salmon, dark chocolate squares, whole eggs, and cheese, to lose weight. Most importantly, dont forget to exercise!