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Can Low-Fat Be Harmful?

Can Low-Fat Be Harmful?

Reduced fat foods may seem like the diet-friendly pick when you put it up against full-fat options. But hold your package of low fat chocolate chip cookies a little bit closer to the light—notice the calorie count and excess sugar?

Yup, they’re still there, regardless of the fancy packaging used to trick you into thinking that “reduced fat” = “good for you.” That’s one of the reasons health experts are beginning to recommend a limited consumption of energy-dense foods in order to reduce risk for several types of disease, including cancer. Lower-fat food options made the “energy-dense food” category because of the fact that, while they may be reduced fat, that are not always lower in calories, especially when they are consumed in large portions.

And portion size seems to be the primary source of the problem. For example, a typical blueberry muffin prior to the super-sizing of foods would have been about three inches in diameter and weighed in at about 250 calories. Today, even the low fat versions clock in at approximately 290 to 340 calories and only about two grams less fat.

Some low fat options, however, are worth a second glance. Milk, cheeses and meat can all be found in reduced fat or fat free options, and many do save you not only in the fat department, but also when it comes to totaling calories.

What’s your favorite reduced or low fat treat…that’s really good for a healthier life? [MSNBC]

Posted: 6/9/08