Especially if it looks as if it means ‘healthy’
By Sandra Roycroft-Davis, founder of Thinking Slimmer
Many years ago when I needed to lose weight and used to diet (yes, me!) I did the Rosemary Conley hip and thigh low fat diet. It started a time-consuming habit which meant I would take ages to do my weekly shop and scrutinise labels to see how much fat the product contained!Then when I had kids and had limited time to spend poring over the labels, I just took it at face value that when a label said ‘low fat’ it would help me in my mission of losing weight and eventually staying slim.
The weight loss fact is – as research by Which magazine proves – that just because something is “lighter” or “reduced fat” doesn’t mean it’s healthy – it just means it’s healthier than the standard version, Which magazine cites some prime cases of this.
For example, the cheese brand Cathedral City also provide a lighter version although this does contain less fat than the regular product – it’s still very high in fat and is given a “red light” under the traffic light system.
What few people know is that for a food to be classed as the lighter version, it needs to contain 30% less fat than the standard equivalent – what it doesn’t have to be is under a certain amount of fat or calories!
Even products with 20g of fat per 100g, which are considered “high fat”, could still fall into the category of a “lighter” option.
Which also found examples where there was so little difference in two versions of the same food that it was almost misleading to sell the two.
The standard McVities chocolate digestive contains 85 calories, while the lighter version contains 77; this difference of eight calories equates to less than a minute of swimming or running!
Another interesting comparison is of Tesco’s standard and “Light Choices” lasagne; the latter does contain less fat than the standard version – but simply because it is composed of 14% beef, rather than the 24% in the original version. Also, Kelloggs’s Special K which is perceived as a product which has fewer calories than many other cereals actually contains more calories per bowl than your standard bran flakes!
So my advice is that when you’re losing weight with a Slimpod, and you’re naturally looking for the healthier options, just beware of what you are buying! It might take a few minutes longer at the supermarket but it could pay dividends.