Like soldiers gearing up to go to war, fat-free products are declaring war on the obese; lining the supermarket shelf as if it were a quick fix solution to an inconvenient problem. However with so much information surrounding what is the best and healthiest way to lose weight do we join the soldiers or rebel against them?
The reality is that losing weight is a complicated operation and in order to do it safely you have to consider the benefits of fat against eating none at all. The reality is far more surprising than most people think.
Many fat-free products contain added sugar, which increase the calorie load of the food, which adds to the calories the body has to burn to lose weight. If this is not done the extra sugar will eventually be stored as fat.
There is also another worrying trend among fat-free products. Fat makes foods taste good. If you didn’t have fat in muffins would they really be as edible? In order to make these fat-free foods appeal other substitutes are added. The trade-off means that the body is absorbing synthetic forms of a substance that has no place in the human diet. Some of these substitutes are not absorbed by the gut meaning that fat soluble vitamins and minerals are sacrificed as well. This coupled with the fact that body needs the good fat all means that those planning a fat-free diet should think carefully about their
body’s nutritional needs as well.
Eating low-calorie foods seems a much healthier option. It is easier to work out the calorie content of food and keeping a record of your daily calorie intake than cutting out fat. You are also able to get the vital nutrients needed in order to stay healthy. In some countries like the UK
food labels carry this information; as well as the fat content and sugar content so those consuming the foods know exactly how much they are eating. By keeping a daily calorie record you are able to work out how much calories are needed to lose weight.
For those following a fat-free diet there are things you can do to make it a little healthier. The body needs essential fats such as Omega 3 and Omega 6. These are contained in foods such as fish, nuts and olive oil. These will also provide the fats needed to absorb vital vitamins and minerals. Portion control is also a valuable tool if you want to lose weight on a fat-free diet. There is no point is eating 6 fat free cookies because the added sugar will increase the calorie intake.
For those eating low-calorie foods it is essential that you do not consume too little calories. If you lose weight too quickly the body draws energy from the muscles, including the heart. The general guidelines are to consume 200-500 fewer calories per day. Exercise, no matter how small, will also need to be considered as this can alter the required daily calorie intake.
As the debate about the benefits of fat-free foods versus low-calorie diets rage; there is one thing that is clear. Choosing a healthy weight loss plan requires careful planning to ensure that the body does not forfeit the essential nutrition it needs to function. There also needs to be much clearer information about the healthiest ways to lose weight. There is so much conflicting information about what is the best and healthiest way to lose weight no wonder we are all left confused.