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How fat-free food is making you fat

By Dhruv Gupta
Last updated on: December 04, 2014 13:32 IST
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Don't fall for the fat-free fad. Eat healthy, manage portion control, stick to natural foods and exercise. This the only way you can lose weight and keep it off, says Dhruv Gupta

How fat-free food is making you fat

A packet of diet namkeen can be approximately 450 calories for 100 gm. Just because it's roasted doesn't make it low in calories. In fact, health experts warn that 'fat-free' foods may cause more problems than they claim to solve.

Have you noticed most people that you see eating 'fat-free' food are usually the ones that are overweight. If fat free foods really helped you lose weight then why would there be 300 million overweight people in this country? Now that's food for thought.

Fat makes the food delicious. If you took fat out from the food it would taste bland and insipid. If people were given a choice to eat between tasteless food and tasteful food they will, without doubt, pick the food that had flavour. Keeping this in mind it would be very difficult for companies to get people to pay for tasteless food.

So now the question is how to make the food tasty without its fat content. By obviously adding a lot of chemicals! This comes with added problems.

First people tend to eat more of 'fat free' foods because psychologically they feel they can do this without putting on weight. But while they indulge on these they are also consuming lots of chemicals used as substitute for fat that are definitely not good for your body.

Most food products today seem to have 'fat-free' version. Supermarket shelves are full of 'fat-free' products these days.

'Just because a product is labelled 'fat-free' or 'low-fat' doesn't mean it's healthier or even lower in calories.'

What does 'fat-free' really mean?

For a product to be fat free, it must contain less than 0.5 gm of fat per serving. This is all very well if we eat the stated serving size of that food, say one cookie. But if we consume more than one cookie, it technically ceases to be fat free.

Besides, statistically speaking, when you eat low fat or fat free foods you chew down 25 to 44 per cent more calories than when foods are labelled as regular fat, according to latest research.

Basically you might have cut down on your fat intake but you have increased your calorie intake by switching to fat free products.

Remember, fat free doesn't always mean calorie free.

For example: a packet of diet namkeen can be approximately 450 calories for 100 gm. Just because it's roasted doesn't make it low in calories. In fact, health experts warn that 'fat-free' foods may cause more problems than they claim to solve.

Next time read the calorie intake of the food item before buying it.

Practical piece of advice: eat healthy, manage portion control, stick to natural foods and exercise. This the only way you can lose weight and keep it off.

Photograph: pengrin™/Wikimedia Commons

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