A story reported in Medical News Today reports that low-fat products may cause more harm than good to the American diet.

Many well-motivated people have been led to believe that all fats are bad and that substituting sugar and flour is a better alternative than using heart-healthy plant-based oils. “This unfortunately contributes to the epidemic rates of diabetes suffered by many Americans, in addition to premature death”, says Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health. Many see oil listed as an ingredient in their food and wrongly assume it is an unhealthy fat.

 Companies have eliminated unhealthy trans fats in their regular muffins and now use healthier canola or soybean oil, while the low-fat version of the muffin is loaded with sugar, flour and up to 60% more sodium to enhance flavor. It’s obvious that the regular muffin is in fact healthier than the low-fat one.

Some suggestions to keep you on the right track with your food intake:

Cut down on portion size: This is  a healthier alternative to trying to reduce fat.

Reduce sugar and salt:  Sugar can be reduced by one quarter without affecting the taste or texture.

Use plant oil: Canola, extra virgin and safflower are healthier than shortening or butter.

Add nuts and fresh whole fruit

Making sensible, educated choices is easy if you know what you are looking for.

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