3 Reasons NOT to Eat Low Fat Foods (unless you like them!)
In the video and blog below, I share with you 3 reasons why you shouldn’t eat low fat foods, unless you like them, of course! The diet industry is massive and you probably either eat, or have seen advertised, things that are essentially diet products. Foods that are low fat or diet friendly, like diet bars, diet yoghurt, and diet cereal, convey the unspoken message that you can eat more because they’re low fat. But this industry is basically just a huge money-making machine…
I’m passionate about encouraging people to stick with whole foods, which sometimes have more fat in them than those manufactured foods that have the fat reduced or removed. But this comes with a caveat: if you prefer the lower fat versions, then of course build those into how you eat, but in general, I recommend going for the higher fat options.
Why is this?
Firstly, they don’t fill you up as much. If you’re eating lower fat, then you’re more likely to get hungry later. Fat is a great saturator; it makes sure that you feel full and your brain gets those signals that you’ve had a satisfying meal. And of course, there are all kinds of different fats; I’m not talking about eating lots of fat on your cut of meat, for example. But if you’re choosing between a normal full fat Greek yoghurt and something like a Muller Light yoghurt, then go for the full fat option, because that will fill you up for longer. You might be worried about the calorie difference, but the bigger picture is that you’re going to end up eating fewer calories overall, because the full fat option fills you up and will satisfy you for longer.
Number two is that most foods that have had the fat removed will have had sugar added to make them taste nicer, especially products like Special K cereals, Muller Light yoghurts or different kinds of breakfast bars. And in a bowl of Special K or Muller Light yoghurt, you’ve actually got more sugar than you would find in a bowl of normal ice cream – it’s true! So even though something is marketed as low fat, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good thing. The fact that it’s got so much sugar in isn’t going to help you, instead it’s going to end up spiking your blood sugar. You get that high, you feel good, you really enjoy it, but then you get that crash later, and you’re searching for something else.
This leads on to my third point: if you’re actually avoiding the thing that you wanted to eat in the first place, the chances are you’ll end up eating more than you would have anyway. I remember times where I actually wanted some ice cream, or I wanted a chocolate bar, but instead of those I would have some weight watchers sweets, or a Special K cereal bar, or a bag of skips. I would have all these things that are ’low points’ and low fat so that I could feel satisfied and feel that I was having a treat. But the thing was I ended up eating so much more because I wasn’t satisfied; these weren’t the thing that I wanted in the first place. And I remember lying on my bed having had so many Weight Watchers sweets that I felt a bit sick, but I carried on anyway. I had sweet wrappers, crisp packets, and low-fat biscuit wrappers on the bed, as those were things I could eat because they were low fat and they were special diet products.
So, if you’re really craving something, if you really enjoy chocolate, or crisps or yoghurt, then build that in. Make room to have those proper full fat versions that you really enjoy, and the bigger picture is that you’ll be eating less overall. Of course, if you like low fat products then it’s fine to enjoy those occasionally too, they just don’t work very well if you are using them as a substitute for something else that you really want instead. So for me, I like full fat milk on cereal or porridge but really don’t like the taste of it in my tea, it tastes too creamy and I prefer skimmed milk. If you really like that dash of full fat milk in your tea or that full fat yoghurt, then have it and enjoy it. But if you actually prefer the diet or low-fat versions, then enjoy those occasionally too. Just don’t be fooled into thinking that low fat foods are always the answer and recognise that these can easily create their own problems for your health journey.