Are Fat-Free Foods Making You Fatter?
© Doug Champigny, http://flirtingwithfitness.com
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When it comes to healthy nutrition, weight loss and dieting, nothing is more counter-intuitive than eating ‘fat-free’ foods. When you start dieting to lose weight, you’re really looking to reduce your overall bodyfat level by burning fat without losing any more muscle than necessary, right? So it might seem logical that avoiding fat in your diet by eating fat-free foods would help… Yet most times that’s one of the worst things a dieter can do!
4 Reasons to Avoid Fat-Free Foods when Dieting…
1) Higher Ratio of Carbohydrates by Volume
Generally speaking, foods are comprised of carbohydrates, protein and fats. If all 3 components are equal in a food, each would be 33% of the total volume. By removing fats and just leaving carbs and protein, each of those two would now be 50% of the total, so if you still ate the same amount of food you’d be getting almost 50% more carbohydrates than you would ingesting the original unmodified food. This is especially important since most of your current bodyfat comes from excess carbs, not an overabundance of dietary fats.
2) Food Processors Often Add Additional Sugars To Improve The Taste of Fat-Free Foods
The western palate is accustomed to foods containing fats, and often when dieting the taste of fat-free foods just doesn’t cut it – instead they taste bland to the point where people often refer to the taste as ‘eating cardboard’. So in a here-to-fore successful marketing ploy, many food processors bump up the taste of fat-free foods by adding sugars and artificial flavorings.
Suddenly you’re now faced with bland-tasting food or a spike in simple sugars to both raise your blood sugar levels and add to your body’s fat stores – great choice, eh? Here you are trying to lose weight and diet effectively, yet fat-free foods will either leave you unsatisfied or actually cause you to go in the opposite direction and get fatter!
3) Fat-Free Foods Leave You Hungrier Sooner
Dietary fats are more than twice as dense as proteins and carbohydrates – the former contains 9 calories per gram while the latter 2 contain only 4 calories per gram. Since a calorie is just a measure of energy, it’s only logical that your body stores fat for those times when it needs more energy than you are feeding it. But dietary fats work in your favor too, since it takes the body longer to digest and absorb them. As a result, your digestive system stays busy longer and it’s longer before you get hungry again.
4) Your Body Needs The Healthy Fats
Some fats, particularly the Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats, are referred to as ‘essential fats’ since your body needs them to function properly and keep your systems moderated. From salmon to olive oil to Omega supplements, you need to maintain a healthy level of essential fats intake to keep your body fit and optimized.
Naturally you’ll want to consult your family doctor and maybe a nutritionist if you’re intending any major weight-loss dieting or other drastic change to your dietary habits. But if you’re simply looking to reduce you caloric intake slightly to lose fat over time, now you know why you’re usually better off reducing your carbohydrates instead of dietary fats.