As I walked through the frozen-food aisle at the grocery store the other day, I was really struck by the effusive array of diet foods. The words “fat-free”, “lite”, “low-calorie”, “lean”, and “low-fat” were everywhere.
What could be better than calorie-free food? I mean, you can eat all you want and still be thin, right?
The Fat Fact
Despite the mind-boggling variety of these too-good-to-be-true foods, obesity rates in the U.S. are climbing – maybe just as fast as the sales of these products.
Well, as counter-intuitive as it may sound, the consumption of diet foods can actually further weight gain.
Out with the Fat; In with the Fat
Generally, the fat in the commercially-prepared, fat-free or low-fat foods is replaced with high fructose corn syrup, refined ingredients, artificial flavors, artificial colors, and/or other chemicals that have been shown to be detrimental to health … and some of which can complicate your efforts for weight loss.
For example, the first or second ingredient in most fat-free salad dressings is high fructose corn syrup, a substance that has been shown to foster weight gain. (A better option? My Creamy Italian Salad Dressing – a dressing that actually helps with weight loss!)
And many low-calorie foods cut calories by replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners. These sugar substitutes may contain fewer calories than sugar, but the not-so-sweet news is they have been shown to be hazardous to health and contribute to weight gain.
To make matters worse, many low-fat diet foods are nutritionally inferior to their full-fat counterparts. Your body needs nourishing foods to be healthy, to maximize the natural capacity to govern and balance food intake, to lose weight, and to keep that weight off permanently.
Real Food = Real Weight Loss
Don’t be taken in by the exciting marketing tactics of diet food manufacturers. Many foods that have been heavily promoted as being helpful for weight loss are not. On the contrary, most of these foods contribute to weight gain and poor health.
Instead of diet foods, choose healthful, real foods, like Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili, Potato Corn Chowder, Quinoa Patties, Cream of Leek and Kale Soup, Baked Apple Blueberry Oatmeal, and Wonderful Waffles topped with High-Fiber Strawberry Applesauce.
Planning nourishing meals around delicious, natural ingredients is a liberating way to rediscover your waistline.