We’ve all been there – strolling through the aisles of the grocery store and we come across the fat-free or reduced fat options of some of our favorite foods. While it may cause us to instantly gravitate to those options, you may want to know the facts about those fat-free and reduced fat options before deciding your fate in the snack aisle.
Low-Fat and Reduced Fat Food
What the packaging doesn’t tell you in plain sight is what’s really behind the meaning of low or reduced fat foods. Quite often, when a product has less fat, they usually make up for that with added sugar and additives to boost up the flavor of the missing fat. By boosting your sugar intake, you can actually be doing your body more harm than good. High sugar levels contribute to high blood pressure and diabetes. Plus, the fat that you may be missing out on could actually be important factors to your health. Not all fats are bad, so your body may be missing out on important fats that contribute to your vitamin, iron and protein efficiency. But, in order for you to make the right decision, you need to be able to know the difference between good and bad fats and sugar.
As mentioned before, sugar is the contributor to several diseases. Linked to health concerns such as diabetes and heart disease, sugar is highly addictive and can be very risky when reaching the point of addiction. But why is it so addictive? Sugar actually releases a stimulant that controls the pleasure or rewarding feeling in your brain, thus causing you to go through withdrawals when not getting enough until you train your brain to not crave it by cutting back on your sugar intake.
Fortunately, there are healthy sugars that won’t do as much harm to you and your longevity. You can find natural sugars in foods like fruit, which are a very important aspect in everyone’s health. Fruit contains natural and healthy sugars that can trigger that pleasure feeling, while feeding your body the vitamins it needs.
As a rule of thumb, we say to avoid all added sugars when it comes to deciding what to buy. This includes sodas, sugary juices and candy.
Many people associate fat as being bad. That probably comes from the dieting industry where they pigeonhole all fats into being unhealthy. As a matter of fact, they couldn’t be any more wrong.
Healthy fats that are found in foods such as nuts and avocados are heart-healthy, lower cholesterol and lower inflammation. Plus, if you increase your intake in healthy fats (compared to unhealthy fats) you will feel fuller for a longer period of time. But, just like sugars, not all fats are created equal.
Unhealthy fats are all around and found in many processed foods. Potato chips, butter, cheese, and more all contain unhealthy fats that can clog your heart and lead you to a life of high cholesterol and more.
Fat or Sugar?
When it comes down to choosing between fat and sugar, moderation and knowledge is the key to deciding between the two. So many items in the grocery store are loaded with sugar to make up for the loss of fat that they are taking out. While low-fat foods may sound like the better route to take due to the advertising, the added sugars can take a toll on your body by increasing inflammation, raising your blood pressure, and even getting you addicted to the snack, causing you to eat more.
By choosing the correct foods that contain healthy fats, you will be feeding your body the right nutrients to live a healthier and longer life. Plus, the healthy fats will make you feel full for a longer time, helping you control your overall calorie intake per day.