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“Fat-free” foods aren’t always the best choice for weight loss

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are also known as “good” fats, and can improve your blood cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease, as well as type 2 diabetes. Examples of “good” fats you should be including in your diet are nuts, seeds, beans, fish, and olive oil.

The harmful ingredients often included in “low-fat” and “fat-free” processed foods usually contain a higher number of carbs and starches, mainly sugar, even though the foods are touted as healthy alternatives. Since our bodies are prone to digesting these types of foods at a fast pace, the consumption of low-fat and fat-free foods will eventually lead to overeating and weight gain.

Next time you go to the grocery store, compare the ingredients on a regular food item versus those on its “fat-free” or “low-fat” counterpart. The ingredient list on the fat-free item will contain a higher number of ingredients that you may not recognize or be able to pronounce, since these items are mainly additives, preservatives, and chemicals that are added to the product to replace “good” fats.

Here are some tips you can follow to improve your diet without having to resort to buying “fat-free” or “low-fat” items that are high in unhealthy chemicals:

  • Replace butter and low-fat salad dressings with olive oil and oil-based vinaigrettes.
  • Buy items that lack trans-fat. Make sure ingredient lists on the items you buy contain zero trans-fats and no partially hydrogenated oils.
  • Increase your omega-3 fat intake. Omega-3 fats promote good heart health. Eat foods such as salmon, tuna, walnuts, and canola oil — all of which are high in omega-3.
  • Limit your red meat and dairy intake. Red meats such as beef, pork, and bacon are high in harmful saturated fats, along with dairy products such as ice cream, cheese, and milk. Switch from cow’s milk to almond or coconut milk, and eat more fish, chicken, and turkey in place of red meats.

Instead of resorting to fat-free and low-fat products, add more whole foods to your diet for the best weight-loss success. Fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish, beans, nuts, and seeds will provide your body with the nutrients it needs while also complementing your workouts and overall weight-loss goals.

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