Diets today tend to pinpoint fat as the root of all evil, causing us to naturally choose lower fat foods, but is reduced fat really the better option? Actually, that’s not always the case. For example, I love peanut butter. But I always choose original over reduced fat and here’s why:
- When manufactures reduce fat, they are removing flavor. But they still want customers to buy their product, so their solution is to add sugar. This adds to the taste, but still allows them to put the “reduced fat” label on their product. They just created a win-win for themselves; however, you as the consumer haven’t benefited at all. This added sugar is going to cause your blood sugar and insulin levels to spike and then rapidly dip, causing hunger, overeating, and weight gain. It can also raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes just as much as or even more than eating the original amount of fat.
- Not all fat is bad fat! In fact, some fat in your diet is essential to your health. Fat is used as an energy source, to ensure proper function of your nerves, skin, tissues, and brain, to transport fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, & K, and for forming and assisting with the development of hormones and essential fatty acids.
- The calories in the original and reduced fat products are typically similar anyway.
So next time you go to the store, make sure you compare the nutrition labels of both the reduced fat and original product. If you answered “yes” to all of the following questions then stick with the original product:
- Does the reduced fat product have more sugar?
- Do the reduced fat and original products have similar saturated fat (within 1 g per serving)?
- Are the calories between the two products similar (within 20 calories per serving)?