While low fat foods are an alternative for a healthy diet, they are not the cure-all for weight loss, report doctors at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics.
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One gram of fat equals 9 calories, while protein and carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram, which is why low-fat foods can provide lower calorie eating options. Incorporate fat-free foods — foods that contain less than half a gram of fat per serving — into your diet to help limit your calorie intake.
Skim milk is fat free and still delivers the same amount of protein and calcium as whole milk. Dairy products made from skim milk also are fat free. Nonfat yogurt does not contain any fat.
Cottage cheese, like milk, comes in whole, 2 percent and fat-free versions, also providing the same nutrients as fat-laden cheese. Ice cream made with skim milk is fat free. The American Academy of Family Physicians warns consumers to beware of the many products that use sugar and salt to make up for the lack of taste in fat-free products.
Most fruits and vegetables have no fat in their purest forms. Coconuts and avocados are exceptions. The sauces, butter and other toppings you put on fruits and vegetables usually are the culprits for increasing the fat content when consuming fruits and vegetables.
Most beans and legumes are fat-free when they are closest to their natural form. Canned beans often don't have added fats and are ready to eat - be sure to choose a low sodium variety.
While creams and sauces typically are loaded with fat, there are many fat-free condiments you can use to flavor food. Soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and ketchup are fat free. Vinegar is available in a wide range of flavors to add fat-free flavor to dishes.
Salsa made with natural ingredients like tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, onions, parsley and lime juice or other vegetables is another fat-free condiment that can spice up a meal.
Practice portion control when using condiments to flavor your meals. While they might be free of fat, many condiments come loaded with sugar — which boosts your calorie intake — or packed with sodium, which can negatively affect your health.
Grains are fat-free in their natural state, although most people don't eat raw grains. Look for products that do not contain added fat to make them more flavorful. Some bagels on the market do not contain added fats. Fat free grain sources are available in a number of cereals too, such as bran cereals, puffed wheat and rice, and creamy wheat cereal.
Fat Free Concerns
Fat-free does not equal healthy. Many candies, although fat free, are not healthy additions to the diet and should not be eaten everyday. Enjoy fat-free foods in addition to an overall nourishing diet to help cut calories and aid in a healthy lifestyle.