Hidden Calories in Fat Free Foods

Words Fat Free Made from Wooden Blocks

During your most recent trip to the grocery store, did you happen to pick up a few low-fat products instead of their full-fat versions? It sounds logical, lower fat content must be healthier and lower in calories. Surprising to most, this isn't often the case. When you take that first bite, you may think "this tastes amazing, why would I ever buy the full fat again?" Have you ever stopped for a moment to think how they made it taste just as good, if not better? The answer is usually found on the nutrition label. Added starches, sugars, chemicals, and sometimes even MSG are frequently added as "flavor replacements" for fat.

Let's take a moment to break down the terms commonly found on food labels. According to WebMd, "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." In a nutshell, these are really marketing terms used to sell the product and don't necessarily apply to the quality of the food itself.

When it comes to calories, "low-fat" does not mean "low-calories." In many cases, reduced fat products can have even more calories than their full-fat versions. Your Metabolic Research Center consultant will be happy to educate you on nutrition labels and where you can quickly spot potential problems while shopping. One of the keys of the MRC weight loss program is smarter eating. This goes beyond the typical "no soda, no fast-food" mentality and gets into determining if seemingly "healthy" foods are actually better for you. The better educated you are, the smoother your weight loss journey will be. To learn more, contact the Metabolic Research Center nearest you for a free, no obligations consultation.


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