Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Are low fat foods better for you?

In today's world, low fat labels on food products has become a powerful marketing tool. The promise of a slimmer waistline these labels are aimed at making consumers feel better about making a healthy choice, but is low fat better and healthier for you?

For many products “low fat” often equates to “high sugar” and in this case it is doing zero for your health. In many cases the high sugar content actually outweighs the low fat benefit and this is the real consumer trap. The fact is that sugar will convert to body fat faster than fat does, so eating a low fat yoghurt that has more sugar than the regular could actually be worse for you.

High sugar intake is associated with Type 2 diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance. Diabetes is considered the fastest growing disease in Australia with experts estimating that more than 4 million Australians will be living with the disease by 2015. Diabetes is associated with increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, blindness and vascular problems that can result in amputation of limbs.


Reading the nutritional information panel is still the best way to judge a food. Consumers need to look past the marketing labels and go straight to the nutritional information. 

Here you will find the fat content, sugar and carbohydrate level and most importantly the kilo joule value for the product. Don't be fooled by marketing labels, just because something is fat free does not mean it is necessarily better for you.

Further information
Australian Diabetes Council
Health Insite
Australian Diabetes Society (ADS)