9 Low-Fat Foods You Shouldn't Eat
That's not such a good trade off. Rather than take the label's word for it, digging a little deeper can help you make a healthier (and yes, slimmer) choice. Here's the scoop on 9 low-fat foods that aren't so good for you.
The slimmer option: Either type of bacon can be a part of a healthy dietas long as you enjoy it just once in a while, and in small portions. Use it more as a garnish than a main event by sprinkling crumbled strips over Brussels sprouts or atop a veggie-filled salad.
Low-fat baked goods
The slimmer option: If you love baked goods, enjoy them on occasion. More often, do your own low-fat baking at home with clever ingredient swaps, like fruit purees or yogurt for some of the oil. You can also usually reduce the sugar in any recipe by one-third without changing the taste.
You should eat salad, but noshing on a fat-free salad coated with fat-free dressing will leave you super hungry in an hour. Food manufacturers add sugar or artificial sweetener to fat-free salad dressings to make them taste good, which can lead to blood sugar spikes that drive appetite. Another bonus of fat: it helps your body absorb beta-carotene and lycopene (both powerful antioxidants found in tomatoes, carrots, and red peppers). Toby Amidor, RD, nutrition expert and author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen also points out that bottled dressings contain a laundry list of additives and preservatives.
The slimmer option: Your salad should have some fat in it, be it from full-fat salad dressing (Amidor suggests making your own dressing at home with balsamic vinegar and oil), nuts, or seeds. Or you could slice some avocado on top of your greens: one study suggests avocados are especially good for helping your body absorb the nutrients from your salad.
Reduced-fat peanut butter
The slimmer option: Buy the real-deal full-fat P.B. Choose one that has just two ingredients listed: peanuts and salt, suggests Amidor. Since peanut butter is calorie dense, it's easy to overeat. Stick with a two-tablespoon serving.
The slimmer option: Unless you have heart problems and your doctor has instructed you to limit your egg intake, eat the whole thing. In recent years, conventional wisdom on eggs has shifted from total avoidance to good to eat. Yes, they contain cholesterol, but a 2013 study in BMJ found that eating one egg a day didn't increase risk for heart disease or stroke in healthy people.
Low-fat potato chips
The slimmer option: Get your salty snack fix with roasted chickpeas or roasted edamame, which are packed with protein, or kale chips, which give you a huge dose of vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants along with that satisfying crunch.
The slimmer option: Top plain Greek yogurtwhich contains up to 20 grams of satiating protein per servingwith a few tablespoons of whole grain cereal, nuts, and seeds.
Low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt
The slimmer option: Have an infrequent (read: not daily) half-cup portion of something that you truly enjoy, even if it's more decadent, Harris-Pincus says. Bring on the Talenti gelato.
The slimmer option: Depending on your calorie budget, opt for low-, reduced-, or even full-fat yogurt. A 2013 study found that eating high fat dairy was associated with having less body fat and lower odds obesity without increasing heart disease risk. If you do have fat-free yogurt, be sure to include some form of healthy fat with it, like almonds or pistachios.