"Diet foods" - how they'll ruin your weight loss

Monday, August 26, 2013

Weight loss is probably a multi billion pounds business nowadays. All the different products advertised on TV - low fat this, low calorie that. But how many people actually have a look at the nutritional information before buying the product thinking, that they've picked a really good product that will not harm their weight loss?


Yes, sugar. It's not good for you, but still all these products advertised as low fat or low calorie are loaded in that stuff. Sugar is empty calories, it's bad for your liver (as your liver is the poor thing that has to process all the sugar people consume nowadays), it damages your teeth and it will make your blood sugar spike (which in turn will make your levels crash after a while, making you crave more sugar). I could go on for ages but all the info is out there for everyone to read.

I try to avoid as much sugar as I can, for the above mentioned reasons AND because of my high risk of diabetes. But it is incredibly hard, even the healthy options have way too much sugar in them. As a rule of thumb, less than 5g of sugar per 100g is considered low in sugar, over 15g of sugar in 100g is high in sugar. I always try to aim for anything close to the 5g mark, I tend to leave the product on the shelves if the amount passes 10g.

And also the fat content of all these products can be absolutely mind blowing (especially if the product is advertised as low sugar). 5g of saturated fat per 100g is too much, 1.5g per 100g is good. You really don't need much of this stuff for it to be bad for you.

The bad stuff

All you really need to do at the supermarket is to just look at the fat and sugar contents of the stuff you think is good for you. I've pulled a few examples from Tesco's website for the purpose of just demonstrating how things we associate as healthy are really not.

Advertised as low in fat - 15.1g of sugar in 100g

Advertised as 0% fat - 12.5g of sugar in 100g

"Lighter cereal bar" - 22.8g of sugar in 100g

12g of sugar in 100g

The good stuff

Thankfully there is some decent options around, too! Obviously only a drop in the ocean, they are really getting better at giving us the real healthy stuff.

7.8g of sugar and 0.2g of saturated fat in 100g

4.4g of sugar and 0.6g of saturated fat in 100g - avoid the chocolate version!!

Be mindful of what you buy, don't let the sugar and saturated fat surprise you! Even things like Cheerios have insane amounts of sugar in them. I'd highly advise parents to read into this stuff too, it's not good to feed your children so much sugar!

And it's not just about the products that are advertised as healthy - have a look at your bottle of ketchup. You'd be surprised how much sugar you find in those.

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