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Beware of Fat-Free!

Are you trying to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet? Has your doctor recommended that you cut the fat from your diet to improve your health? Have you built your diet around fat-free foods, sacrificing flavour for health? Well, you are not alone!

Even though the “fat-free” label on the foods you eat makes them seem healthy, they may really be full of hidden sugars. Sometimes skipping the fat-free version is not the healthiest choice you can make.

Here are a few foods to keep on your radar:

1. Mayonnaise. Fat-free mayo is packed with sugar, often listing high fructose corn syrup as one of the first ingredients. Unfortunately, full-fat mayonnaise is loaded with calories. Light or reduced-fat mayo is definitely your best choice. You can still enjoy the tangy flavour without all of the extra sugar or calories.

2. Eggs. Some people think that only eating egg whites is a healthy, low-cholesterol choice. However, there are a lot of benefits to eating the yolk as well. Egg yolks are full of nutrients, including choline, which boosts your brain health. If you need to stick to a lower cholesterol diet, make a dish with egg whites, but include one egg yolk.

3. Peanut Butter. Yes, peanut butter is high in fat, but it is healthy fat! The monounsaturated fat in peanut butter can help you lose weight and give your healthy cholesterol levels a boost. Lower-fat peanut butter is full of sugar and still has the same amount of calories as regular peanut butter.

Natural peanut butter is a great option, as almost all of its fat content comes from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat.

4. Salad Dressing. You need a little bit of fat on your salad to be able to fully absorb the nutrients in leafy greens. Choose dressings that are based on good-for-you fats from olive oil or nuts (monounsaturated fats). Plus, a Purdue University study found that dressings that include monounsaturated fats can help you absorb the nutrients in your salad faster.

Dietitians suggest a simple, healthy dressing of oil and vinegar for your salad. Lower fat dressings are also usually full of extra sugars and salt.

5. Baked Goodies. Pastries, cookies, cakes, and other fat-free baked goodies are full of sugar to make them taste better without the fat. It is better to eat full-fat goodies in moderation than to fill up on unsatisfying fat-free baked “treats.”

The best way to control the ingredients and portion size of your baked goodies is to make them at home. Freeze them in single, appropriately sized portions and thaw them when you are ready for a treat.

6. Dairy. Research has shown that drinking whole milk can help increase your weight loss. Your body needs the fat to absorb the nutrients in the dairy products you are eating. If you choose a lower fat or fat-free dairy product, pair it with something higher in fat, like a few nuts or a bit of granola.

Skip fat-free or lower fat cheese. Just eat a little bit of full-fat cheese and enjoy its delicious flavour and texture.



SOURCES:;; Image courtesy of marin /

SOURCES:;; Image courtesy of marin /