Ask: Are low-fat foods really healthier than full fat foods?

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Question : Are low-fat foods really healthier than full fat foods?

For decades, the notion that all fat is bad has been a priority message from health officials and our favorite brands. Low-fat products have popped up everywhere, from yoghurt and milk to soda and snacks as a reaction to the idea that we should reduce the amount of saturated fats in our diets. Low fat was equated with a more health-conscious lifestyle and the products have been flying off the shelves. In fact, brands that didn’t follow the trend saw a significant drop in customers and many were forced to adopt a similar model.

But was it all in our best interest? Is full fat really that bad? New research supports that eating full fat products does not necessarily lead to more weight gain than eating low fat. In fact, studies have concluded that the fat in full fat products can actually benefit our health in the long run.

Low fat products have been given a bad rep lately because of the way they are produced. In order to ensure the products are low in fat, manufacturers have had to alter the oils used as well as add in sugar supplements to ensure the products still taste good. All of this means that low in fat products are actually high in carbohydrates, and therefore have similar calorie counts to the full fat version. Unfortunately, a diet that is high in carbohydrate and sugar can lead to obesity and heart disease just as quickly as a full fat diet.

Not all fat is bad fat. Some fats, like those found in nuts, seeds and oily fish provide essential fatty acids like omega-3s that are important in helping maintain healthy blood vessels, bone health and the absorption of certain necessary vitamins. A better choice is to be conscious of eating the good fat variety like nuts, olive oil, fish and avocado. And don’t underestimate the benefits of a full-fat Greek yoghurt. It’s packed with protein and probiotics for better gut health and improved digestion.

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