Ironically, eating low-fat foods has helped make the nation look more like the Michelin Man.
Reason being, a low-fat or reduced-fat item may have nearly as many calories as a higher-fat version because ingredients like sugar often replace the fat to make the product taste better. Plus, low-fat foods can still contain unhealthy saturated or trans fats – both of which may increase your risk of heart disease.
What’s more, a study determined that people ate 28 percent more sweets if the treats were portrayed as “low-fat” rather than “regular.” The researchers concluded that low-fat labels (like those on cookies and fruit-flavored yogurts) cause people to underestimate calorie consumption, increase the amount we eat, and temper the guilt of polishing a packet of reduced-fat wine gums.
Some people see the term ‘fat-free’ and use it as a green light to eat as much of it as they want. This leads to overconsuming calories. And that, no surprise, leads to weight gain.
Diet Busters: Cut back on “runner-friendly” foods:
- Wine: It has health benefits, but also packs lots of calories. If you’re trying to slim down, keep it to one drink daily.
- White Pasta: It’s low in fiber and nutrients. Choose whole-grain versions most often.
- Energy drinks and bars: They contain added sugar (i.e., empty calories), so scale back.
- Chocolate: Just 30g has about 160 kJ. Limit yourself to that much (and choose dark varieties) per day.
More Weight-Loss Myths Exposed
The Myth: you can spot-reduce fat
The Myth: Running on empty is a smart way to burn extra fat
The Myth: Exercise in the fat-burning zone
The Myth: Weight-lifting will only bulk you up
The Myth: Low fat foods are a healthy choice
The Myth: Eating at night causes weight gain