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With so many of today’s food
labels including the words ‘less
carbs’, ‘less fat’, ‘less sugar’ and
‘less sodium’, nowadays you
would be hard pressed to find
a person who does not have
some kind of low or non-fat
food product in their kitchen.
Yet as
these so called low-fat foods
may be in fact causing
more harm than good and
ultimately making you gain
weight rather than lose it.
Suzanne Marshall* from Dubai
is an admitted yo yo dieter who
embraces any new diet that comes
out and in her quest to lose just 15
kilos, only buys low-fat or non-fat
food items for herself. Yet despite it
all, she is still not losing the weight.
She tells, “I have about 15 kilos I
need to shed and yes I do exercise
and eat healthy. I also make the
effort to only buy foods that are
low fat. I only drink diet sodas also
to avoid the calories and I only use
artificial sweeteners for my tea.
But for some reason not only am
I not losing any weight, I seem to
be slightly bloated and feel tired all
the time...Am I doing something
wrong?” (*name changed)
The Sad Paradox
With all of us trying to get slimmer
and look better, many of us are
turning to low fat salad dressings,
low fat cookies, and low-fat
milk; and even using margarine
and artificial sweeteners in our
ceaseless chase to shed that excess
weight. Further elaborating,
Licensed Dietician Riham
Shamseddine, at the Right Bite
Nutrition Centre in Dubai explains,
“The demand for low-fat foods has
dramatically increased in the past
few years, as people are becoming
more health conscious.” Yet the
paradox has been that despite this
trend and mass availability of these
kinds of foods and beverages, she
points out that still the obesity rates
and risk of diseases has not gotten
any better.
Key Ingredients in These
Kinds of Foods
What is the real reason that these
foods considered low in low fat?
According to Shamseddine, in
order to decrease the fat percentage
in some food items, food industries
need to modify the foods with
many additives in order to avoid
sacrificing the taste of the original
‘high in fat’ product and make
it pleasant and palatable for the
consumer. “And most of those
additives are fibers, proteins,
emulsifiers and flavor enhancers,”
she says, added to render the same
enjoyment we would experience
whilst consuming full fat food
Apr/May 2014