Many products labeled low-fat or fat-free contain added sugar or sodium to make up for the loss of flavor when removing or reducing fat.
In addition, fat helps with satiety — making you feel fuller longer. Choosing a fat-free product to reduce calories can backfire, as you may find yourself snacking soon after.
My best advice if you want to eat healthy is to always look at the Nutrition Facts label when choosing among fat-free, low-fat and regular. Pay attention to sugar and sodium content. Choose whole foods versus processed, and make sure you are drinking enough water. If you feel you need a more specific menu, ask your health care professional for a referral to a dietitian or nutritionist. — Allyn Wergin, R.D.N., Clinical Nutrition Services, Mayo Clinic Health System, New Prague and Le Suer, Minnesota
(Mayo Clinic Q & A is an educational resource and doesn’t replace regular medical care. E-mail a question to MayoClinicQ&A@mayo.edu. For more information, visit www.mayoclinic.org.)