Studies have shown that a high-fat diet is more effective than a low-fat one. You might as well have cream instead of milk froth in your cappucino. Picture: Osman Orsal
Studies have shown that a high-fat diet is more effective than a low-fat one. You might as well have cream instead of milk froth in your cappucino. Picture: Osman Orsal

On a diet? Lose the low-fat products

By Nina Teicholz Time of article published May 14, 2014

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Washington - If you want to slim, all you need to do is take one counterintuitive step: purge the pantry of low-fat foods.

Yes, low-fat products make people fat. To replace the texture lost when fat is removed, food manufacturers use “fat replacers”, which are usually composed of carbohydrates – often just sugar.

We’ve been told for decades that eating fat makes us fat – and gives us heart disease – but the real culprits are carbohydrates. German scientists discovered the link in the 1920s.

But researchers developed a fixation with dietary fat in the 50s, and people have been obsessed with fat ever since.

Americans, for example, today consume more calories than they did in the early 1970s, although a smaller proportion of them come from fat. They are also eating at least 25 percent more carbohydrates – and they (and we) are fatter than ever.

A fat-free Caesar salad dressing will deliver about 12 times more carbs per serving than the regular version.

“Light” Philadelphia cream cheese packs twice as many carbs and sugar as the full-fat kind.

And at Starbucks, there’s no more carb-laden bakery item than the reduced-fat banana chocolate-chip coffee cake, with 50 grams of sugar, equivalent to more than two milk chocolate bars.

The regular Starbucks chocolate-marble loaf cake, with 24 grams of sugar, is no angel, but it’s still the better option.

The same is true for yoghurt, cheese, ice cream, biscuits, peanut butter, hot dogs and granola bars, among other items: the low-fat versions are almost always higher in carbohydrates.

Over the past decade, many clinical trials have established that a higher-fat diet is more effective than a low-fat one in fighting obesity and heart disease.

Toast that with some cream in your cappuccino! It’s far more delicious and filling than nonfat milk – and it has much less sugar. – The Washington Post

* Teicholz is the author of The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet. Follow her on Twitter: @bigfatsurprise.

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