Although I am a firm believer of not making any food off-limits, and certainly not classifying them as “good” or “bad,” there are a few types of foods that I always avoid when other options are available.
Dietary fat plays two very important roles in our food. First, it adds flavor; so when it is removed, something needs to be added to make the food flavorful. That “something” is usually sugar. Now sugar isn’t a bad thing in moderation, but when it’s in excess and found in places we aren’t expecting, it has been shown to be one of the leading causes of poor health in our country.
The second important role of fat is that it makes us satisfied, meaning we tend to get fuller faster on full-fat products than on fat-free products. So when you are choosing a fat-free meal, not only is it full of unnecessary sugar, but you tend to eat twice as much of it!
Now this may seem contradictory to the previous paragraph because I warned of excess sugars; however the solution may not be to swap them out for artificial sweeteners. We have learned that artificial sweeteners actually don’t aid in weight loss and in many cases cause people to eat more.
Instead of using artificial sweeteners, use natural sugars like agave, stevia, honey, etc., in moderation. Or even better, swap out your diet drinks for drinks that are naturally flavored with botanicals and are sugar-free, like Salada’s Raspberry Iced Green Tea.
Most fats are flexible, like a string, and move gently through our bodies. However, if you add hydrogen to these fats, it makes them more stable and increases the shelf life of the products they contain. Unfortunately it also makes the fat more rigid, increases cholesterol and can clog arteries. Picture the flexible string now as a hard stick trying to pass through your body. If you see the words partially hydrogenated oil on the ingredient list, it is best to put the product back and find an alternative.
And remember, a few small steps can lead to big changes.
Article first appeared on unbottleyourtea.com/tara.