There was a time, after losing 70 pounds many years ago, that all I ate were mostly low-fat and zero-calorie foods. The less fat, I reasoned, the better. However, I wasn’t making the healthy choices I thought I was — and neither are you, if you primarily gravitate towards foods with these labels.
In fact, experts say that such foods harm your health more than they help it. Every time you eat such foods, your odds of getting cancer or diabetes increases, as does the probability that you’ll gain weight or suffer from nutrient deficiencies.
Low-Fat Foods Can Make you Eat More and Can Lead to Serious Health Problems
A Cornell University study found that individuals consume up to 28% more food when consuming low-fat options, showing that people tend to overindulge if they think they’re eating something that sounds healthy. Either they eat more than the suggested portion size of the low-fat food, or — since they’ve been eating low-fat products on a routine basis — they feel they have the green light to eat more than they should. This could result in weight gain; interestingly, the Cornell study also determined that people tend to eat foods they normally don’t enjoy all because it carried that “coveted” low-fat label.
Contrary to what many people think, foods with fats — the right kind of fats — are good for you; scientists have found no significant evidence linking certain dietary fats with a higher risk of heart disease. Experts at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Vienna, Austria, also found that eating full-fat dairy products like whole milk, butter, and cream can actually reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
Coconut, naturally-fed meats and nuts are examples of some foods with the kinds of fats that are good for your health. Coconuts, for example, are known to play a role in burning fat and improving brain function. At the same time, certain meats contain a wide mix of essential vitamins and minerals.
It’s even been found that eating a low-fat diet plays a role in lowering the “good” cholesterol (HDL) — not something you want. Furthermore, experts note that low-fat meals contribute to diabetes, lowered testosterone, cancer, and heart disease. It’s important to eat foods that exist naturally, meaning that they aren’t tampered with harmful chemicals or additives and the effects of processing. And that’s just what you’re getting when you eat too much low-fat or zero-calorie foods: tons of added sugar, unpronounceable chemicals, and so on. What you get in low-fat, you’re often also getting in unhealthy ingredients.
Zero-Calorie Foods Confuse Your Body and Have the Potential to Destroy Health
When it comes to calorie control, those low-calorie or zero-calorie items containing artificial sweeteners destroy your health. Whether you use those pink, yellow, or blue packets or buy products with such sweeteners already mixed in them, you’re lessening your chances of losing weight and are harming your health in the process.
For example, studies have found that zero-calorie sodas end up making you feel hungrier, rather than staving hunger off. Your body actually becomes confused due to the fact that it’s not getting any energy or nutrition during the digestive process. Sure, you’ll be satisfied with the sweet flavor, but over time you will find yourself unable to distinguish “sweet” because you’re so used to the false tastes coming from the likes of aspartame.
Even worse than feeling hungrier than normal and potentially overeating as a result is the fact that ingesting zero-calorie products containing artificial sweeteners are linked to fatigue, headaches, and cancers, although claims about this topic remain controversial.
Avoiding foods with healthy fats or consuming zero calorie items keeps essential nutrients from your body, preventing you from functioning at your best. So, next time you’re in the grocery store, consider buying whole milk instead of skim milk or choosing regular yogurts as opposed to low-fat kinds. In many instances, you’ll even find that the calorie difference isn’t shocking. Yes, the total will be higher, but in the case of many yogurts (for example), you’ll see that the difference may be closer to a 30 calorie increase instead of the dramatic 100 you may have anticipated.
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