Imagine knowing that on the shelf of light products, more than half doesn't match what you think. This false lead makes us consume more calories when we think we are doing just the opposite.
Labels detective - Brazilian blogger also investigates processed foods
The hidden speech of the menu - The truth behind menu words
Product labels that indicate low fat mean fewer calories ingested and thus less likely to get fat, right?
A new study, published in the journal Appetite, found that most low-fat foods have no fewer calories than expected.
Researchers at the University of Toronto (Canada) analyzed more than 5,700 packages to find that 61% of low-fat products had no significant calorie reduction.
In the study, significant reduction was considered to mean 25% less calories.
That is, for the purpose of providing weight loss, they matched the "fatter" alternatives.
But how is this possible?
This is because when industries get fat out of products, they need to add ingredients to replace them so that there is no loss of flavor - and a drop in sales.
Among the substitute ingredients, believe me, they even use sugar.
This means that many low-fat products have even more sugar than the versions we call "normal".
That's where the problem lies: The myth that less fat means less calories is seriously undermining our efforts to lose weight.
Past research shows that the mere presence of the word “low fat” on a label can make people eat 50% more food.
Since these products look lighter, it's easy to imagine that you can use another portion.
Basically, low fat foods are a double blow to your waistline.
Not only can they have as many or more calories as full versions, but they can force you (unconsciously) to eat more.
That is, we must observe the details of the landscape, not just the whole.
Alyssa Schermel, co-author of the study and manager of L'Abbe Lab at the University of Toronto, says, "read the label, and look for the most high-fiber, low-sodium, high-sugar foods."
"And also look for foods that are less processed."