What’s best? Low-fat vs. full fat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — People watching their weight may shop for fat-free or low-fat foods.

Eating them can make you think you have a healthier diet, but dietitians say that may not be the case.

Char Cade says her grocery list typically consists of healthy items, including low-fat foods. She also reads nutrition labels, and encourages others to take the time to read them as well.

“Once you get that figured out and you know what you should eat then you can just streamline your grocery shopping and you can pick out the items that you know are better for you,” Cade said.

Picking out the items that are good for you can be tricky, which is why registered dietitian Tiffany Krogstad agrees with Cade– label checking is a must.

“I always recommend turning it around and looking at the label, looking at the fat content, looking at the added sugars, looking at the sodium content and looking at the ingredient list as well,” Krogstad said.

The wording on the back of the product can mean more in terms of what kind of nutrition you’re actually getting.

Wording on the front of products, such as ‘fat free’ or ‘low fat’ can sometimes offer you high confusion.

The difference between full fat and low fat when it comes to calories can be big, but calories don’t tell the whole story. To make up for the lack of fat and at times lack of flavor, Krogstad says low-fat products can instead have high amounts of sodium and added sugar.

“The problem is refined grains is processed foods is added sugar and so all of those things add up to extra calories and it’s not going to keep you satisfied so you’re going to be hungry again very shortly,” Krogstad said.

Instead of cutting fat out of your diet, Krogstad recommends about 20 to 35 percent of your calories actually come from fat.

“In the last several years the fat recommendations have actually changed. We don’t focus so much on following a low fat diet, as much as focusing on incorporating the good fats,” Krogstad said.

Healthy fats can be found in foods like avocado, salmon and nuts– and will help you stay full and feel satisfied.

“That’s why it’s more important to focus on the type of fat, rather than restrict it,” Krogstad said.

Krogstad says there are many more foods you can find healthy fats in.
To see a list of those foods, click here.

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