Fat-free, sugar-free foods: checks the labels before buying

I am an advocate of finding tasty fat-free and sugar-free treats to replace ones you have to give up when you’re on a low-fat, low-sugar, low-salt diet as I am. But you have to check all ingredients on such offerings, not just the levels of the things you’re trying to reduce.

That was brought home in a recent article I saw from the Cleveland Clinic. “The High Cost of ‘Free’ Foods. The truth about fat-free and sugar-free products,” has some warnings about fat-free and other free-from foods.

“Think twice before reaching for that fat-free cookie or sugar-free ice cream bar as an afternoon snack.

“In most cases, you’re better off having the real thing in moderate portions, says Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD, wellness manager at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute.

“The issue, Kirkpatrick says, is that choosing heavily processed foods over natural foods often means taking in too many additives and refined ingredients with questionable nutritional value,” the article states.

When I write about say, fat-free or low-fat cookies I‘ve found, I also include sugar levels so you know whether sugar has been upped to compensate for the lower fat. Unfortunately we have to be constantly reading labels and evaluating what we eat, nothing seems without perils at the moment. I only hope science progresses past this frightening time in our food lives and finds out it’s ok to eat fun foods again some time soon.


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