Fat-free does not mean calorie-free. And, it does not necessarily mean low calorie. Many fat-free cookies have almost the same calorie content as the original version. Fat is usually replaced with extra sugar and a variety of other ingredients ranging from dietary fiber to special starches to chemical emulsifiers that perform the same function as fat. This does not make low-fat or fat-free snacks a health food. Read the label to see how much fat and total calories are in the product.
What are some ways you can cut back on your fat intake?
Summer is a good time to choose to add more fruits and vegetables into your diet. They are naturally fat-free.
- When packing your lunch or making lunch for your children who are home during the summer, try adding raw carrots, celery or broccoli instead of potato chips or French fries as a side with a sandwich. You will save about 10 grams of fat every time you make this switch.
- Choose fresh fruits in season as a snack, along with a piece of mozzarella cheese which is lower in fat than a processed cheese.
- Reduce the fat in milk by choosing 2% instead of whole milk. Or, try reducing even more to 1% or skim (fat-free).
Take a closer look at your diet and examine ways you can make changes for a healthier you!
Author: Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Ohio State University Extension.