Low Fat Versus Fat Free

What's Wrong With Fat?

While the thought of eating a fat-free food may sound good to many people trying to lose weight, it may not taste as good. In many cases, products that are "fat free" are often "taste free" as well. Because these foods do not tend to satisfy the taste buds, many manufacturers try to add some other ingredients to make them taste better. These ingredients often include sugar, salt, flour, and other fillers. Some of these added ingredients may make the food taste better, but they can also increase the calorie count.
 
Another thing to think about when opting for the fat-free product is that you may not find that these foods satisfy your hunger. Therefore, you may find yourself overeating.
 
The "Good" Fats
When searching for what to eat to lose weight, keep in mind that the general recommendations call for about 20 percent to 30 percent of your daily calories to come from fat. Not everything needs to be fat free or low fat. Rather than worrying about how much fat something contains, try to look at the type of fat it has. So many of us have somehow ingrained in our heads that the word "fat" equates to a "bad" thing. However, there is such a thing as "good" fat or "healthy" fat. 
 
These "good fats" include both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (the unhealthy fats are saturated fat and trans fat). If you have never heard of these, then let's take a moment to define what these are. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and include things such as vegetable and nut oils, including olive oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil, just to name a few.
 
Your body needs a certain amount of fat to function properly. Fat is an important source your body uses for energy. It also helps your body absorb vitamins, and "good" fat helps to lower "bad" cholesterol and raise the amount of "good" cholesterol. If your diet were completely fat free, it would not be healthy.
 
With that said, however, choosing the type of fat you eat is also important. Try to choose products that contain unsaturated fats. Keep in mind that fat has the most calories per gram compared to any other nutrient, so choose your fat wisely and make sure to count those calories if you are trying to lose weight.
 
The "Bad" Fats
The fats you want to avoid are saturated fats and trans fats. These are "bad" fats. No more than 10 percent of your daily calories should come from saturated fat.
 
Saturated fats and trans fats are not the same thing. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and can increase your risk of heart disease and high cholesterol. These are primarily found in foods that come from animals, such as meat and dairy. These products are probably healthier if you switch to a lower-fat version.
 
Trans fat comes from oils that are converted into saturated fat. Trans fats are the worst of the worst, as they are more dangerous to heart health than saturated fats. Just because a product says it is "trans fat free" doesn't mean it doesn't contain these fats.
 
A good tip is to check the food label. Products can use this "trans fat free" label if they have less than ½ gram of trans fat per serving. While this may not seem like much, if you continually eat this product, those grams of trans fats can add up quickly.
 
Also, if you see "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" oils listed on the nutrition label, the product contains trans fat (see How to Read a Food Label). Trans fats are often found in commercially baked crackers, cookies, fast food, and fried foods.
 
So in short -- when it comes to choosing fat, check the label and know what you are looking for. Also, try to choose lean cuts of meat and fish, as well as low-fat dairy products. In addition, try to avoid products that contain trans fats.
 
Tips to Keep Holiday Weight Gain Down
Terms of Use
Advertise with Us
Contact Us
About eMedTV
Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2006-2017 Clinaero, Inc.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.