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Why You Shouldn't Eat Light Foods

Weight Loss Sabotage: Eating "Light" Foods

When you go grocery shopping, you'll see a plethora of "light" packaged foods. From crackers to chips to salad dressing to beverages, many people trying to lose weight pack these items into their carts so they can feel good about eating healthier versions of the foods they crave. The problem is, these foods actually end up being just as unhealthy, but in a slightly different way. Companies can't just remove the fat or lower the number of calories without affecting the flavor. To compensate, they add extra sugar, sodium, additives, or chemicals. Or in the case of these Light Lays, they add fake fat (Olestra), which is believed to interfere with the body's absorption of important vitamins, and can cause diarrhea.

Light foods are just bad news, so it's OK to embrace real food that contains real fat. According to Women's Health, "many nutritionists recommend eating full-fat food in smaller portions to lose or maintain weight." Balance is the key. Enjoy the foods you love — like steak, French fries, and ice cream — in moderation, and don't get obsessed and go on a fat-free diet. Our bodies need certain types of fat in order to function normally, and they also help satiate your hunger longer, so you avoid overeating. Be a label reader and give foods made with healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts, and fish the green light. Limit the amount of saturated fat you consume by opting for lean meat and nonfat dairy products, and completely avoid trans fat, including hydrogenated oil. Only 20 to 35 percent of your diet should include fat, so shoot for 44 to 77 grams of fat a day (for a 2,000-calorie diet).

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