Part of a weight loss journey often means a diet overhaul for some people, in order to increase their intake of fruit and vegetables instead of sugar-filled, carb-heavy foods. But this change often finds dieters being drawn to low-fat foods, as they appear to be a ‘healthier’ alternative of their favourite treats. Fats are needed as part of a healthy diet, so what is actually in low-fat foods? Sophie Dillon, nutritionist at Fresh Fitness Food has explained why people looking to shed the pounds shouldn’t opt for low-fat foods, and busted a whole host of other diet myths in the process.
Are low fat foods better for you?
Sophie explained to Express.co.uk: “Low fat foods tend to contain much more sugar than their full fat alternatives.
“Not only that but we need healthy fats. Essential fatty acids, such as Omega-3s found in oily fish, nuts, seeds or olive oil, are important for maintaining vital functions such as hormone production, as well as enabling the absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.”
Do carbs make you fat?
The nutritionist advised: “Contrary to popular opinion, carbohydrates themselves will not make you fat.
“As per the law of thermodynamics, you will only gain weight if you consume more calories than you ‘burn’, regardless of where the calories are coming from, i.e. you are in a calorie surplus. Carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram.”
Is fruit bad because of the sugar?
Sophie explained: “Fruits are sometimes vilified over their sugar content. However, it’s essential to distinguish between refined sugars and natural sugars here.
“Refined sugars are broken down by the body very quickly, causing insulin and blood-sugar levels to increase rapidly.
“Prolonged consumption can cause the pancreas to overproduce insulin, which can lead to too much glucose being removed from the bloodstream, and therefore resulting in hypoglycaemia.
“In contrast, unrefined, natural sugars, such as those found in fruits usually contain fibre, which slows down the absorption of glucose into the blood stream, and therefore prevents those insulin and blood sugar spikes and crashes.
“In addition, fruit contains essential vitamins and minerals which positively impact overall health.”
Will skipping breakfast make you lose weight?
“Weight gain and weight loss is all about the energy balance,” the diet expert continued. “Whether you lose or gain weight will depend on your overall calorie intake for the day in comparison to how many calories you are expending.
“Although correlations have been found between skipping breakfast, and weight gain, research shows this is a correlation not causation, and that this tends to correlate with ‘breakfast skippers’ making poorer dietary choices throughout the day, rather than with the fact that they missed breakfast this morning.”
Meanwhile, the diet plan of popular discussion at the moment is the Italian diet, after TV show How To Lose Weight Well promoted the Mediterranean-style diet.
The Mediterranean diet was inspired by Greek cooking, and this diet applies the same principles but with Italian flavours.
The Mediterranean diet reduces risk of heart disease, according to research.
It is also linked to reduced cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease risk.
Mediterranean diet foods include lots of fruits, veg and nuts. There is an emphasis on fish.