What comes to mind when you read fat-free, low-fat, or light on a food product? How to eat healthy? NO! Wait, what? Why not? As people are becoming more aware of the negative health effects of processed salts, sugars, and bad fats, many food companies are trying to appeal to the general public by marketing products that contain less of these and other harmful chemicals.
In essence, it sounds like a good idea, however, let’s take a closer look at what they are replacing those ingredients with.
Fat-Free/ Reduced Fat/ Light: the fat is replaced with flavor enhancers to make the food edible enough to taste good without the full fat content. Guess what two of the flavor enhancers are that replace the fat in products like peanut butter or yogurt? Processed sugar and processed salt! Umm… need I say any more? Read our blog Say No to Processed Sugar to learn more about how detrimental processed sugars can be to your health.
Fat also helps the body becomes full and satiated. If you take away the fat, you are more likely to be hungry after the meal and want to eat more. So eating something that is fat-free will not only add more processed sugars, salts, flours, modified food starches, gums, and more, but your body will want more to become full. This in turn adds more calories of unhealthy foods.
The diet crazed society that has become the United States is not a friend to our health. The label ‘diet’ itself is also detrimental to our health (learn more in our blog The Dangers of Diet Soda). No matter what someone’s argument is in trying to defend the diet/ fat-free/ low-fat products, there is no doubt that they are having adverse health effects across the nation. The fuel for trends like this is a lack of knowledge as to what is in our food and highlights the importance of conscious living.
I’m going to leave you with this tip for healthy eating: avoid most things that come in a package unless you read the label and can understand every word and it is all healthy. If it has some long name that you can’t even pronounce, it’s probably best you don’t eat it. Stick to the outside of the grocery store where they keep the produce and whole foods. There are exceptions to this rule but if you are starting out, best to be safe and eat natural things, like fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds which are the cornerstones for plant-based nutrition.