Why Fat-Free Food Isn't Really Fat-Free

List: Posted: 03/05/12

When many people head to the grocery store, they are conscious of labels and they try to be aware of the nutritional value of the food they buy.  However, in some cases, the labels are not as forthcoming as they should be. 


For instance, some of the labels on foods that you might be tempted to buy say that they are fat-free.  In reality, this isn’t the case.  Even though the FDA allows for foods to be labeled as fat-free, they don’t actually have to be devoid of all fat to earn that coveted label.


In fact, the FDA allows the fat-free label to be placed on a supermarket package as long as the product contains less than .5 grams of fat per serving.  One of the problems with these labels is that what they consider a serving size might not be the same thing that you consider a serving size.  If you use more of the product, you are going to be getting more of the fat from the “fat-free” product.  Granted, it is likely going to be much less than if you were to use the normal version.


You also need to consider the other ingredients that go into the fat-free products. Oftentimes, a lot more sugar is added when the fat is taken out to improve the taste, which is just as unhealthy. 


In addition, the manufacturers will almost always replace the fat taken out with another chemical, to ensure the taste and texture is similar to tasty (and fatty) regular food.  You want to make sure that the others aren’t just as unhealthy as it would be if you were to eat the regular product that had the full amount of fat.


To help eliminate fat from your diet when you're at home, you can use less olive oil when cooking.  You can also add spices to give the food flavor that you would normally get from cooking with fats.

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