It’s easy to fall victim to marketing slogans that use words like “diet,” “lean,” and “low-fat.” These words, however, are often just masking an unhealthy treat. A product can be low-fat and still high in sugar and sodium. It’s important to keep this in mind when deciding how to pursue your diet goals.
Here are 14 foods you think are diet-friendly, but aren’t.
“Low-fat” products are usually packed with sugar to boost their flavor.
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As anyone who cooks can tell you, fat carries the flavor. That’s part of the reason why full-fat pastries and baked goods taste so delicious.
When you take fat out of something that normally has it, you have to use something else to fill the flavor void you’ve just created. Enter sugar — which, in addition to adding sweetness, also enhances the flavors of other ingredients in a food or drink.
Both sugar and fat can trick your brain into demanding more food than you actually need, according to Scientific American, which is a problem.
Some margarine formulas aren’t healthy.
Simply saying “oh, fat is bad for you” is a gross oversimplification — many mono- and polyunsaturated fats found in nature are actually quite good for you, according to Health.com. Some older kinds of margarine, however, were formulated with higher levels of trans fats than butter, according to Harvard University — which meant that they could actually lower your HDL (good) cholesterol while at the same time raising your LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Times have changed, and so have many margarine formulas — some of which no longer have those exceedingly unhealthy trans fats.
All humans need a certain amount of fat in their diet to stay healthy so sometimes butter is a better choice than margarine. The key comes in limiting our fat intake to what we need — and also paying attention to what types of fat are involved. We need to limit our saturated fat intake — and avoid trans fats as much as possible.
Rice cakes are basically crunchy calories that offer neither nutrition nor satisfaction.
Rice cakes are crunchy — and some even have decent-enough flavors. They’re usually also fat-free, which is their big selling point.
Unfortunately, they’re also made of refined grains, according to Best Health magazine, and usually full of flavorings that are heavy on sugar, sodium or a combination of the two. You could do a lot better in the snack department.
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