What's your opinion re: reduced fat?

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What's your opinion re: reduced fat?

This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Pattience 9 years, 8 months ago.

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  • In the now less-widely held view that a calorie is a calorie, fat-free, low fat or reduced fat products seemed like a panacea, since you could have the food you want with fewer calories. Fewer calories = weight loss.

    However, a much more prevalent view these days is that actually your full-fat stuff is better; full fat mayo, cheese, yoghurt etc etc. The reasons given that I’ve heard are:

    1) Fat is not inherently bad. Your body needs it, and it helps you feel fuller for longer as it takes longer to digest.

    2) The stuff that replaces the fat might be bad. It might be sugar or other simple carbs, spiking your insulin levels which makes you gain fat and feel hungry again in no time.

    3) It tastes better (especially the cheese. Try melting low fat cheddar. That ain’t cheese).

    I wonder how this can then relate to the 5:2 way of eating… I’m quite tempted to say you should never go for the reduced fat option, except with milk since the fat isn’t replaced by something else.

    On your feed days, having full fat foods will a) make you happy, as you can enjoy them guilt-free. This is the beauty of 5:2. The thought gets me through fast days! b) Help you feel full, stabilise blood sugar and prevent you craving junk food and over-eating.

    On fast days, I don’t know how many of us go for food that has a ‘reduced fat’ version. There’s nothing in my meals today that could be… no such thing as reduced fat eggs, banana, haddock fillet and vegetables! However, if you’re going to have something like greek yoghurt, can I encourage you to not go for the fat free version? You might have to have a slightly smaller portion to stay within your calorie limit, but it will be healthier, keep you full longer and provide a more balanced nutritional profile, rather than the carb-heavy profile of reduced fat products.

    Anyone think differently?

    Hi Stu N, I totally agree with you. Before I started 5:2 I had been losing weight for the past 2 yrs by cutting out processed foods, eating full fat dairy, meat, veg and fruit. I was very sceptical when told I could eat full fat dairy and lose weight, but it works!
    On my fast day I have 1/3cup of unhomogenised full fat jersey milk for my coffee, costs me 57 calories. I also squeeze in 100g of full fat biodynamic yoghurt as dessert after dinner for 65 calories.
    Will never touch reduced fat again!

    I would say it’s entirely up to the individual!

    You’re right that sometimes the ‘low fat’ version is higher in sugar. I also think that ‘low fat’ block cheese is something that NO-ONE should go anywhere near…ugh! it’s horrible.

    ” no such thing as reduced fat eggs, banana, haddock fillet and vegetables!” Well there couldn’t be since these things are natural products – it’s manufactured goods that are made in ‘low fat’ versions – apart from milk which has had all the fat (cream) removed.

    I would also rather have a small amount of real butter than a bigger amount of the mix of chemicals that is low fat spread.

    But that’s the advantage of 5:2 – you can have all of these things just so long as you are aware that they are calorie heavy. It’s whatever works for you.

    I am against low-fat foods, even low fat milk. Our dairy food industry has been ruined by this trend. Food has been ruined by fecking around with food in the lab so much. And It just ends up tasting really bad. In my supermarket almost all the yoghurt is either low fat and fruity or low fat and tart, or creamy with added fat in the form of the cream they’ve taken out of the milk. There is only one brand i can choose which has whole milk and no added cream.

    I am anti low fat because it ruins the taste of perfectly good and delicious foods. And we find out now its been for nothing (or worse) since fat isn’t the big bad boogie man we were all told it was for so long. Just as well i ignored that advice most of the time. I did try several times to drink low fat milk but i’d get sick of it and cheesed off at how awful it is. But i am happy to say i never knowingly at so much as a nibble of low fat cheese and most other low fat products.

    I just believe that healthy does taste good. In fact it tastes better that most unhealthy food. And fat certainly makes food taste a lot better. I think it even helps avoid constipation but perhaps not the dairy fat.

    As for getting more bang for your buck on fast days. Well if you like skinny lattes carry on but a rich coffee means i am satisfied for longer and happier with the flavour. I am just so much happier with my food all around since i learnt how fat is not bad anymore. My food is better. My cooking is better. My diet is better. Life is just getting more wonderful every day now that fat is back.

    Hi Stu and all

    I’ve heard that eating fat encourages the body to burn fat. That has to be good!
    Low fat products are a food/diet industry money-making invention! They jumped on that as soon as we were told to be scared of fat! I do prefer semi-skimmed milk because full fat milk leaves a slick on top of my cup of tea! I use semi-skimmed to make my own yoghurt. It’s live and natural. When I break into it, the whey gathers in the depression left by the spoon. I pour this off, reducing the lactose/carbs in the yoghurt. I even feed yoghurt (and a daily carrot) to my dog. His breath is sweet! I use butter instead of marge but can’t bring myself to eat the fat on meat unless it’s crispy bacon. I have horrible childhood memories of fatty and gristly meat!


    Lizzy, “fat encourages the body to burn fat” would be a spin on the low carb idea but its not actually true. Certainly in none of the low carb books i’ve read have i come across anything like this .

    The situation is this: When you reduce your carbohydrates significantly your body will burn fat for fuel. If you want to run your body on your own fat supply, you should also increase fat in your diet and keep the carbs low. The body will probably still burn up any carbs in your system first, but when you run out which would be sooner on a low carb diet, your body will start burning fat full time. After a few days of this, your body will even be able to produce ketones which can fuel the brain instead of carbs or protein (which is its second choice). If you want to burn up your body fat, you need to eat more fat but primarily less carbs.

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