4 Times You Should NEVER Choose The “Low-Fat” Option
By Katy Lindenmuth; Photography by Alisha Hieb/Unsplash
The surprising moments when full-fat equals fat loss…
It’s basically a healthy-eating truism: If you want to avoid gaining weight, you should stick with low- or no-fat dairy products, right?
New research says the statement might not be as obvious – or as accurate – as previously thought: In a study out of Sweden that looked at more than 1500 men, those who consumed very little dairy fat at the beginning of the study were more likely to be obese 12 years later. Those who had a high intake of dairy fat at the beginning of the study, on the other hand, were less likely to be obese 12 years later. (Keep in mind: This is after researchers controlled for fruit and vegetable consumption, smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, age, education and profession).
So why might full-cream milk and butter be associated with a lower risk of obesity? The study authors didn’t speculate on this, but some experts have suggested that, while fat adds kilojoules, it also helps you feel more satiated, which could cause you to take in fewer kilojoules overall.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should go hog wild and load up on fat all the time. But there are some other instances in which it’s smart to skip the diet stand-in.
These are the foods Dawn Jackson Blatner, author of The Flexitarian Diet, says you should always be getting the full-fat version of…
1. Peanut butter
Low-fat versions of peanut butter are tempting, but guess how manufacturers get them that way? “They take out the fat and add in sugar and that’s no better for you, especially since you’re usually not even saving that many kilojoules,” says Blatner.
Bottom line: Full-fat PB is the way to go because no one needs more sugar in their diet. Plus, if you’re getting natural peanut butter, most of the fat content is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat (which was recently linked to decreased weight gain).
2. Salad dressing
“Zero-fat salad dressing is a big no-no because the fat helps us absorb carotenoids – the nutrient-rich compounds found in the vegetables in our salads,” says Blatner.
So make sure your dressing contains at least a little bit of fat. And full fat is better than low fat since, again, low fat usually means added sugar and/or salt.
“People are throwing away egg yolks right and left – mostly to get rid of cholesterol, but also for fat,” says Blatner.
“But a whole egg is a lot better for you than just eating the white.” See, the yolk contains choline, a healthy-brain compound, along with lots of other good-for-you nutrients.
If you just really like the whites, says Blatner, keep at least one yolk in your egg dish to reap the health perks.
4. From the bakery…
“Rather than stocking up on reduced-fat pre-packaged baked goods, like bread, go with fresh bakery items that are made with full-fat liquid oils,” says Blatner.
(And feel free to ask the staff what kind of oil they’re using in the baked goods, by the way – that’s one of the perks of going to a bakery instead of a chain; they’ll actually know the answer.)
Even better: Make your own biscuits, muffins and pies this way from scratch so you can control every ingredient, serving sizes.
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