The Problem with Low-Fat Foods
- Often lower in calories, but people assume they can eat more.
- Studies have shown up to 245 calories more are eaten if it was known that food was “low fat” (this is more than the amount of calories burned in a 45 min bout of aerobic exercise).
- Belief about calorie content also affects the way you feel after eating. You will feel hungrier more quickly after a low fat meal because you know that it’s low in fat.
- Or, we think we can get away with more food after eating a low fat meal.
- Low fat foods can help promote weight loss, however it is important to guard against the tendency to eat more food later on. Low fat does not mean all you can eat.
- Also, there are often more trans fats in low fat foods.
- Low levels of trans fat in meat and dairy are formed when oil or fat is transformed into a semi-solid or solid state through hydrogenation.
- USDA hydrogenated oil = solid at room temp.
- Partially hydrogenated oils = liquid at room temp. Partially hydrogenated oils are usually higher in trans fats.
- The idea behind hydrogenation was to transform oils into products used for spreading (i.e., to replace butter). Hydrogenation occurs by heating oil to extremely high temperatures, mixing it with nickel powder, and forcing hydrogen through it. Foods appear creamier, spread more easily, and have a longer shelf life than most oil.
- Fats used by many restaurants for deep frying are also hydrogenated and less likely to become rancid.
- Hydrogenated oils are used instead of saturated fat because they are almost as stable and people are concerned about saturated fat.
- They interfere with the metabolism of essential fatty acids. AJCL reports trans fats can destroy natural essential fats, inhibiting the desaturation of linoleic and linolenic acid.
- Trans fats raise lipoprotein (linked with CHD) seen in people with relatively high lipoprotein levels to begin with.
- Some say concern about trans fats is exaggerated because they make up only a small portion of our fat intake. However, it is difficult to tell from food labels exactly how many trans fats you are consuming. If you see partially hydrogenated oil on the label, you know the food contains some trans fat, but don’t know how much. Anyone concerned about health might choose a product low in saturated fat and cholesterol without realizing that it’s also high in trans fats. Public perception remains that saturated fats are bad so manufacturers will continue to use hydrogenated oils, and they remain “invisible” on labels.
- Some estimate trans fat consumption at 8-13 grams daily, while others put this figure much higher.
- Many ready-made, low-fat meals, i.e., Weight Watchers, contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
- Rather than choosing what to eat based on what a food doesn’t contain, i.e., fat, base choices on what it does contain. Choosing foods high in nutrients, i.e. fiber, protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, is always a better choice.
Problems with Low-Fat Diets
- Tend to restrict choices of foods – foods commonly included are meal replacement bars, ready-made meals, and low-fat desserts. These all contain ingredients which can potentially slow fat loss.
- Certain types of low-fat foods can trigger hormonal changes that stimulate your appetite, promoting excessive food intake in overweight people. Studies show a low-calorie diet deriving 35% of the total calories from fat will help you keep weight off longer.
High fiber foods, like vegetables and fruit, lead to a greater feeling of fullness. For example, 44g of broccoli has only 12 calories and is high in fiber and minerals, while a fat-free cookie weighing 29g has 127 calories. Keep this in mind for snacking, as well as when you are loading your plate.
Continue to use a diet diary. Whenever you feel a lack of control or feel emotions and stress around eating, it is an especially good time to keep track of food consumption. This will help to shed light on the triggers causing you to eat and serves as a good “check-in” about what you are actually consuming (sometimes if we know we have to write it down we may choose not to eat it).
Use smaller plates to put food on. Using smaller plates will leave you feeling as though you’ve eaten more, and portions will look larger causing you to eat less. When eating foods that are easy to “overdo,” such as potato chips, put a small portion on a plate vs. grabbing from the bag. Always keeping in mind that at least half of your plate should be vegetables.
Enjoy each bite. Savor the taste and texture of your food and don’t swallow until the flavor is gone
Drinking water before meals will help with a feeling of fullness and will begin to stimulate digestion. Studies have shown that several factors affect when you begin to “feel full;” one of them is volume. Drinking 8-16 ounces of water before eating will put more volume in your stomach, decreasing the amount of room for food. A tasty way to enjoy this approach is by adding lemon to your water to stimulate digestion. Between meals, drinking water is an excellent way to ward off cravings and satisfy the urge to eat when you’re not really hungry.
Brushing teeth after every meal can deter you from eating again. This works well for avoiding late night snacks after dinner.
When snacking, use a spoon or fork and avoid finger foods. This will slow down your eating and cause you to eat less.
Confine all eating to the dining room or kitchen table. Sitting down to eat in the same place trains you not eat while doing other activities such as watching TV. Also, such surroundings create a sense of calm that increases the ability to digest your food.
Watching TV can be a “prime time” chance to overeat or eat when you’re not hungry. Associating eating with activities such as reading the paper or watching TV can be a problem because this association encourages you to feel like eating even if you’re not really hungry. Try to sit down somewhere comfortable to eat your meals without any distractions. This creates a calm space for proper digestion that isn’t tied to any activity you do at other times of the day. During commercials, do short exercises such as, walking around the room, jogging in place, stretching, or abdominal exercises, to avoid snacking.
Don’t give away or throw out old tight clothes. We all hold on to clothing that just “doesn’t quite fit” anymore. If these clothes fit you at a time when you loved your body, don’t throw them out! Keep them around and try them on whenever you are feeling like throwing in the towel with your exercise and nutrition program.
Remember how hard you are working! Your Anatomie workouts aren’t easy, especially if you are working on your diet and lifestyle as well – give yourself the acknowledgement you deserve! Start to relate to your body in a way that has you questioning the quality of the things you are doing and putting into your body. Remember, your body deserves the best! It feels so great to be healthy and fit…way better than junk food tastes!!!