Read the labels – it will make you rethink your choices
Once we decide to lose weight, many of us head to the grocery store looking for items labelled low-fat, light, diet or fat-free.
We all know that a high-fat diet can lead to weight gain, however it takes more than just eating low-fat foods to lose weight.
It's about finding a way to manage the calories we consume versus the calories we use.
Many people who choose low-fat foods are unaware that some described as having no or low fat, have usually had the fat replaced with sugars or thickeners. It's also important to note that any consumed calories that don't get used will be turned into fat stores, regardless of whether they come from fats or carbohydrates.
Most adults should get between 20 per cent and 35 per cent of their total daily calories from fat; our bodies require the good fats (unsaturated and polyunsaturated) to function properly.
The problem is that foods that are high in saturated fats also contain trans fats. Excess consumption of these foods that contain “bad fats” may lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart-related diseases.
It's very important to read the ingredients' label and not just trust the marketing claims on the front of the packaging.
See below for a few tips:
• Check servings and calories
Look at the serving size and how many servings you are actually eating. Four hundred or more calories per serving of a single food item is high.
• Make your calories count
Look at the calories on the label and compare them with the nutrients they offer.
• Eat less sugar
Foods with added sugars may provide calories, but few essential nutrients.
• Look for foods and beverages low in added sugars
Read the ingredient list and make sure added sugars are not one of the first few ingredients.
• Know your fats
Look for foods low in saturated and trans fats and cholesterol, to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Most of the fats you eat should be polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such as those found in fish, nuts and vegetable oils.
Better yet, try to consume fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, nuts and seeds, meat, eggs and dairy — foods that occur in nature. Let's try and rethink our choices this week when grabbing something to eat.
Just because it's low fat doesn't mean it's healthy.
Let's make better choices and B-Active For Life!
• Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Check her out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/B.ActiveForLife
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