Fat-Free Doesn’t Always Mean Healthy

Fat-Free Doesn’t Always Mean Healthy

Anvitha Yalamanchili, Intro Reporter

For anyone looking to lose some weight, turning towards fat-free foods seems like the best way to go about it. Unfortunately, the label ‘fat-free’ can be misleading. The truth is processed fat-free foods are usually packed with calories.

These ‘fat-free’ foods make up for lack of flavor caused by the absence of fat with the overutilization of sugar, salt, and chemicals. So, fat-free foods aren’t exactly healthy, are they? The next time you go to the grocery store, check the nutrition label before trusting the words ‘fat-free’, ‘low-fat’, ‘reduced fat’, or ‘sugar-free’. Nutrition labels provide calorie counts, so you can make sure that your fat-free food does have less calories than the fat-filled alternative.

Nutrition labels also include serving sizes, which is the key to determining just how beneficial the food is. Most manufacturers in the food industry set the serving size to be a lot smaller than what is expected. For example, the standard serving size of a bagel is listed as only half of a bagel. Still, the greater part of people looking at just the calorie count on a bag of bagels will assume that it accounts for the whole bagel.

The illusion that fat-free foods proportionally correspond to healthy food is harmful. Many people think that because something is fat-free, you can eat more of it. It’s a common misconception that a bag of regular chips is interchangeable with two bags of fat free chips. If you’ve read the nutrition labels and determined that your low-fat food is healthy, eating the extra amount of it will completely defeat the purpose. Instead of looking for fat-free foods, it’s better to go for healthy fat.

This doesn’t mean that everything labeled fat-free is unhealthier, it’s just important to look for the right brands.