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Why 'fat-free' is not always the best option!


There is so much gimmicky and misleading information out there when it comes to groceries shopping, and what we should or shouldn’t be eating. The 21st century brought with it a greater understanding of the importance of nutrition and how we should all be conscious of what we are putting in our bodies; however it also brought with it a new wave of ‘fat-free’ foods that are anything but healthy. When a trainer, Doctor or nutritionist tells you to cut down fat - what they really mean is, "eat foods which don't need fat in them" - It might surprise you to hear that pulses, cereal, fruit and vegetables contain very little fat, and the ones that do, usually have healthy fats such as avacados, nuts and seeds!

The problem is that if you are being cautious about your calorie intake, then reaching for the ‘fat-free’ option may seem like the perfect choice, however it is really important that you understand just what it is you are buying.

Sometimes, removing fat from something can be very easily done - such as skimming the fat from milk, however sometimes it needs to be replaced. If so, what has it been replaced with? And what has the ‘removal’ of the fat done to the integrity of the food that you are eating?

Often these foods that advertise themselves as being ‘fat free’ have been highly processed in order to remove the fat, leaving you with a product packed full of sodium (salt), sugar (or sugar replacements) and a mountain of other chemicals designed to prolong the shelf life and ‘improve’ the flavour.

Personally I try to avoid processed foods as much as possible. The fresher, or closest it is to how nature intended, the better!

The other thing that concerns me with this ‘Fat-free’ fad is that it implies that all fats are bad. Which is very far from true; good fats are actually integral to a healthy and balanced diet!

Your body needs good fats on a daily basis to help keep you looking and feeling your best. Foods such as avocados, olive oils, fatty fish, nuts and seeds, provide a variety of nutrients that help the many different systems of our body function at their optimum level. These good fats are important in maintaining healthy heart, brain and nerve function as well as being essential in the development of new cells! There are also many other nutrients, such as vitamins A,D,E and K, and antioxidants, that cannot be properly absorbed into the body, without good fats in the diet.

So when it comes to comes to filing your shopping trolley, make sure you consider just what it is you are buying, and remember whenever possible, fresh is best!

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