Fat Free? FDA Food Label Tells the Story


Fat Free Spelled in Alphabet Soup

Beware. Many processed foods that are marked “low-fat” have just as many calories as the high-fat counterparts. Make sure you read the product labels to understand what you are buying and consuming.

Many low-fat or fat-free foods have just as many calories as do the higher-fat ones. The reason for this is these alternative foods often have more flour, cornstarch, sugar or salt in them. These extra ingredients are usually included to try to make these lower-fat versions taste like the original. However, you are still eating the same number of calories usually in the form of too many carbs.

Just Because It's Low — Doesn't Mean It's Healthy

The same is true of cholesterol, sodium and other substances. Just because a food is labeled as low in fat or as one that has no fat, it does not mean that it would be more beneficial to your health than the higher-fat versions. The nutritional content in these so-called low-fat foods could still cause heart problems, diabetes or other health problems — even if sold as ones that are better for you.

As a rule of thumb, foods that are low in fat are often high in another substance. However, this is not always the case. Some items are legitimately lower in fat without being high in salt, sugar or carbohydrates. The trick is to study the entire label and look at the ingredients listed to determine how helpful it would be for weight loss.

Eating foods in their freshest state possible is usually the best way to consume low-fat foods. However, using the right kind of supplements could also enhance your diet. Certain snacks and drinks can add nutrients to your body without the need to consume extra calories.

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