18 October 2013


In some instances, we've found, the low-cal, fat-free, diet foods we find are even less healthful than the originals. Take, for example, fat-free salad dressing: Manufacturers remove some fat, but they replace those fats with less healthful ingredients, such as high-fructose corn syrup. Here are a few more so-called health foods that we think aren't better than the originals: 

1) Fat-free milk 
We know what you're thinking: "Only 90 calories in a one cup serving and absolutely no fat? This MUST be a winner!" Think again. When companies take out all the fat in milk, they're also removing good vitamins like A and D. While some skim milk gets vitamins A and D added back in, it's not naturally from the milk fat. Additionally, in a TIME article, Dr. Walter Willett, chair of the department of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health, said that most reduced-fat foods cause people to eat more because they are not as filling. 

Opting for milk with just a bit of fat helps you get nutrients like conjugated lineolic acid without packing in too many calories. 

2) Reduced-fat peanut butter 
Some people stress over the amount of fat calories in peanut butter. But nuts contain good sources of heart-healthy fats. The reduced-fat versions of peanut butter replace the missing fat with extra sweeteners and empty carbs. Regular peanut butter typically includes just 4 more grams of fat per serving, which can work as part of a healthy, balanced diet: The total recommended fat intake for the average person is about 30 percent of total calories each day. Instead, your best bet is to seek peanut butter that only lists peanuts in its ingredients (so it doesn't have other added preservatives or ingredients). 

3) Soy meat alternatives 
Too much emphasis on high-risk investments. The age-old concept of the "get rich quick" scheme is a common pitfall that many people are aware of, yet continues to burn investors. A new investor must keep in mind at all times that their investments are a long-term strategy, and as such, a potentially high short-term gain is simply not worth pursuing when it is weighed up against the risk of losing your hard-earned money. 

4) Fat-free turkey 
Most packaged turkey products (especially fat-free ones) are loaded with crazy amounts of sodium to keep them fresh. One 2-ounce serving of some brands contains almost a third of the maximum recommended daily sodium intake. Pre-packaged turkey also contains the preservative sodium nitrate -- a chemical known to turn into cancer-causing chemicals in the stomach and trigger migraines in some people. 

Instead, try buying a (free-range) bird and roasting it yourself. Or, if you're short on time, seek out low-sodium, all-natural versions of those pre-packaged slices. It helps to find a brand that has less than 350 milligrams of sodium per 2-ounce serving. 

5) Gluten-free cookies (if you don't have Celiac or a gluten sensitivity) 
Medical concerns aside, just because it's gluten-free, doesn't necessarily mean it's a healthy alternative. Men's Health reported that just two of Glow's Gluten-Free Gingersnap cookies have more calories than seven of Nabisco's Ginger Snaps -- and as much saturated fat as 10 McDonald's chicken nuggets! 

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