Why low-fat food is not good for weight loss
For years, the low-fat mantra has permeated every area of life. A trip to the supermarket now shows rows and rows of low-fat products, none more obvious than in the dairy aisle. Low-fat milk, low-fat yoghurt, low-fat cheese, low-fat cream, low-fat cream cheese. You get the picture. But like the law of life, if you take something away, you often need to put something in its place. And fat is often what makes food taste good. So food manufacturers add sugar to make it taste better.
Now food companies are pretty good at hiding this increase in sugar, they will call it something else, anything else (like carbohydrates). At the end of the day, it is still sugar. And sugar does many things to your body but the most important thing (if we are talking about weight loss) is that high sugar foods spike insulin. Why is this is a problem? When you spike insulin with high sugar foods, your body immediately uses blood sugar and then stored glucose (glycogen) for energy. It stops looking for your 'energy reserves’ (often stored on your stomach, hips and thighs) as your energy source. If it’s been awhile since you last ate, the body shifts from burning fat (ketosis) immediately to using that sugar as your energy source. Also, to add insult to injury, that spike in insulin is likely to make you hungry again not long after you eat. Ever felt starving not long after having a non-fat glass of juice, low fat muffin or frappacino with the works? The body is signalling to you that it is searching for more blood sugar to use as energy and again, and it takes much longer to switch to ketosis (fat burning).
Even though the low-fat yoghurt/dressing/sauce is often much lower in calories than the full fat version, the effect on the blood sugar and appetite hormones is markedly different. You want your body to burn your stored fat, not rely on a steady stream of ready-to-go sugar from food that has been created in a factory (or lab). If in doubt, it is best to eat whole foods that are as close to how the were created in nature as possible.