If it's low-fat, it's good for you, right? Not necessarily: Often, companies remove fat only to increase sugar, salt, and additives in an effort to make "diet" food taste better, and a recent study found that 10% of such foods actually have the same number of calories as their regular counterparts—or more. Health.com lists nine low-fat foods you should stop eating or cut down on. Five standouts:
- Turkey bacon: Yes, it's lower in fat and calories than regular bacon, but it's not that much better (read: 3 grams of fat compared to center-cut bacon's 3.5), and it's still a processed meat product. The healthiest way to eat any kind of bacon is in very small doses, like as a crumbled salad topping.
- Salad dressing: Fat-free salad dressings typically have sugar or artificial sweetener to improve their taste, which means your blood sugar will spike and you'll soon be hungry again. Your salad actually should contain some fat, so that your body can better absorb the antioxidants in those veggies. Your best bet? Making an oil-and-balsamic-vinegar dressing at home.
- Peanut butter: Regular peanut butter has 210 calories per two tablespoons; reduced-fat peanut butter has about 200. Stick with the real stuff, and only buy it if it lists peanuts and salt—not corn syrup or other sugars—as the only ingredients.
- Egg substitutes: These are made from egg whites (plus some other stuff like guar gum). But it's in egg yolks that we find the real benefits, like immune-boosting vitamins and choline, an essential nutrient related to memory. Eat the real thing: As long as you're healthy, one a day is fine.
- Granola: Even regular granola typically has sugar—look for "brown rice syrup" or "evaporated cane juice" on the ingredients list—and the same goes for the low-fat version. Instead, opt to top your yogurt with whole grain cereal, nuts, and seeds.
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