If you’re in your twenties or a little bit older, you probably remember seeing a lot of “fat-free”, “low fat”, and “reduced fat” foods on the shelves in grocery stores in the ‘80s and ‘90s. For over three decades, food manufacturers had people convinced that they were getting fat because they were eating too much fat. Intuitively, it made since. After all, “You are what you eat,” right? Well, in the case of fat, that’s completely wrong.
Fat Is Not the Enemy
Over the past few years, nutritionists and health experts have finally begun to convince people that eating fat – an important macronutrient for any diet – won’t actually make them fat. You would think that this would be a good thing, as we learn more about what makes a healthy diet and what nutrients we do and don’t need.
However, as experts have told us that excess sugar is the worse culprit in gaining weight, the food industry has responded with all kinds of new foods that are “sugar-free”, have “reduced sugar”, and/or have “no added sugar”. If you think back to the ways that these manufacturers made unhealthy “fat-free” foods seem healthy a few years ago, you can start to see why this might be a problem.
Why Sugar-Free Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means
If you look at a bottle of half-and-half, the ingredients list is short and simple: milk, heavy cream. If you look at a bottle of fat-free half-and-half, the list gets more problematic: skim milk, corn syrup, cream. That’s right, to cut out the fat, they added corn syrup, which is known to aid in weight gain thanks to its high content of simple sugars that promote insulin insensitivity. This is just one example of how food manufacturers have misled people into thinking they were eating and drinking healthy foods when they were actually consuming things that were worse for their diets.
But what does that have to do with the new sugar-free craze? The food industry is doing the same thing once more. When you see an item that claims it has no sugar added, is sugar-free, or has reduced sugar, look at the ingredients. You might be surprised to find things like corn syrup and other sweeteners that have the same negative effects on your metabolism and your insulin sensitivity as sugar (if not more so).
For a healthier diet, stick with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains in a balanced diet with enough good fats, proteins, and complex carbohydrates. Do this and work out regularly, and you’ll be on your way to the body and health you’ve always wanted. And, for a more comfortable and fashionable workout, grab some gear and apparel from us at 2ToneFit!