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Fat free VS Sugar Free

Fat free VS Sugar Free
People have different opinions about healthy diets. Some people cut out sugar & carbs, others live by high protein or high fat diets. There are a lot of different ideas and opinions about what is healthy eating and how to lose weight effectively.

Standing in-front of the grocery aisle bombarded by fat free and sugar free claims can be confusing. So we decided to break down these 2 common found product claim and perceptions in the market.

Reading the Label
The basic thing you need to know is the higher the ingredient is listed on the ingredient list, the more of that specific ingredient there are in the product.

What does sugar free mean
Label legislations for each country is different, so depending in which country you find yourself, claims like sugar free might not be legal.

Generally when products are stating ‘no sugar added’ or ‘sugar free’, sugar alternatives like sorbitol, maltitol or xylitol  (Sugar alcohols) are used to bring additional sweetness to a product. This is a topic that can be discussed in great detail. The most important thing to know, some sugar alcohols, although they don’t contain calories (Yeay) do still cause blood sugar spikes.  If you are looking for a reduced sugar product, Stevia and Erythritol are the better options to choose from with limited blood sugar spikes and limited diuretic effects.

Sugars and how they are hidden
Did you know there are 61 alternative names for sugar in the food industry?
Here are some examples of “sometimes hidden” names of sugar:
Dextrose & Glucose: Both are simple sugars (monosaccharides), dextrose is a form of glucose and also the term or name for the form in which glucose is found in our blood. When people speak about Dextrose they may also refer to blood sugar.
Sucrose – table sugar – is equal parts fructose and glucose.
Molasses and other syrups, like cane, corn & golden syrup are all forms of sugars, the same goes for caramel. Be very careful when reading the label!

Fat free & reduced fat and what it means
There are all sorts of fats in different foods, some are good and some are bad. However, fat gives food flavour, so when the fat is removed you lose a lot of flavour. In order to compensate for the loss of flavour, manufacturers need to add something to increase the taste. A lot of the time that “something” is sugar. So a fat free diet does not necessarily mean you follow a healthy diet.

According the HealthLinkBC fat gives energy. There are 9 Calories in each gram of fat and it aids in the absoption of fat soluble vitamins A,D, E and K
Fats are saturated or unsaturated, so what is the difference?

Saturated fats
Saturated fat is solid at room temperature, also known as solid fats.  It is mostly in animal foods, such as milk, cheese, and meat. Poultry and fish have less saturated fat than red meat. Saturated fat is also in tropical oils, such as coconut oil, palm oil, and cocoa butter. You'll find tropical oils in many snacks and in non-dairy foods. Saturated fat can raise your cholesterol.

Trans fat
This is a fat that has been changed by a process called hydrogenation. This process increases the shelf life of fat and makes the fat harder at room temperature. Harder fat makes crispier crackers and flakier pie crusts. Trans fat can raise your cholesterol, so eat as little trans fat as possible.

Unsaturated fat
Unsaturated fat is liquid at room temperature. It is mostly in oils from plants. If you eat unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat, it may help improve your cholesterol levels. Monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat are types of unsaturated fat.

•    Monounsaturated fat: This fat is in avocado, nuts, and vegetable oils, such as canola, olive, and peanut oils. Eating foods that are high in monounsaturated fats may help lower your "bad" LDL cholesterol.

•    Polyunsaturated fat: This type of fat is mainly in vegetable oils such as sunflower, sesame, soybean, and corn oils. Polyunsaturated fat is also the main fat found in seafood. Eating polyunsaturated fat in place of saturated fat may lower LDL cholesterol. The two types of polyunsaturated fats are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

The Pros and Cons
Fat-free diet:
•    Improved weight management
•    Less stomach aches
•    Improves heart health
•    Lower cholesterol levels

•    Eating strictly fat-free is very unhealthy, you will damage your organs if you do not consume any fat.
•    Difficult to sustain
•    Hormonal imbalances
•    Vitamin deficiencies.

Sugar-free diet:
•    Improved weight management
•    Less cavities and tooth decay
•    Improves mental health
•    Reduces risk of insulin resistance (Diabetes)

•    Your high intensity workouts will suffer
•     Less personal satisfaction
So both fat-free and sugar-free have their pros and cons. What is clear is that your body do need both. Try to choose products with health unsaturated fats, as well as alternative sugar treats that include date sugars, stevia, of Badger Friendly Honey.

Here are some treats that you might like if you are trying to cut down on the bad sugars
•    KnowSugar brittles
•    KnowSugar dark chocolate
•    Freeze dried raspberries with yoghurt coating

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