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Low fat foods contain an average 20% more sugar than full fat equivalents

Published on April 7, 2014,

Most readers will not be surprised at this latest exposure of low fat foods, but it is another example, this time from the Mail Online, of how mainstream media is picking up on the low fat foods scam and the way the removed fat is replaced by hidden sugar…

Low fat foods ‘contain 20% more sugar than full fat equivalents’Experts label some of sugar levels found in a probe as dangerous Eating ‘skinny’ version of certain products could lead to health risk Channel 4′s Dispatches tests some of UK’s best-known food brands By Sean Poulter Low fat food sold as good for you is often anything but because it contains more sugar, a study suggests. It found manufacturers are making their ‘healthy’ options more palatable by replacing fat with sugar. Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine at the Wolfson Institute, said people need to reduce their consumption of both. ‘The problem is, not only are we developing vascular disease but we’re getting obese and getting diabetes, and that’s due to too many calories,’ he added.

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Low fat foods stuffed with ‘harmful’ levels of sugar

Published on March 11, 2014,

An analysis by the UK’s Telegraph has found that many food and drink products marketed as “low fat” contain sugar levels which some leading campaigners and scientists warn are too high (surprise, surprise!)…

Low fat foods stuffed with ‘harmful’ levels of sugarExperts said the Telegraph’s findings showed how “low fat” and “low calorie” products could often have more harmful effects on health than their “full fat” equivalents. They believe high levels of sugar are contributing not just to rising levels of obesity, but also other health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, dental cavities and cancer. The analysis also sparked calls for changes to guidelines on the amount of sugar which can be added to food in Britain, as well as clearer labelling on products, to avoid shoppers being “misled” by items billed as healthy alternatives to products containing normal levels of fat.

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Head in Hands: Schools Still Advising Parents To Switch To Low Fat Alternatives

Published on January 27, 2014,

Just when it seems the message is getting through to the mainstream that it is almost certainly sugar that is the real villain in the obesity epidemic, those of us based in the England or Wales with children will have been brought down to earth with a leaflet from schools advising parents to switch to low fat alternatives…

A page from the Change4Life booklet given to parents in England and Wales

A page from the Change4Life booklet given to parents in England and Wales

The leaflet, from the government funded National Health Service’s Change4Life campaign, advices parents to sign up for a series of “Smart Swaps” which include:

- swapping full-fat milk for semi-skimmed or skimmed (reduced fat) milk

- swapping butter for low-fat butter or spreads

- swapping full-fat cheese for reduced-fat cheese

It also has a section on saturated vs unsaturated fats (where saturated fats are inevitably described as “bad fats”).

Here are a few more snippets:

- “Chilli: use leaner mince to reduce the saturated fat content. Or try it vegetarian-style for a change by adding beans, pulses and vegetables instead of mince.”

- “Mashed potato: use reduced-fat spread instead of butter, and 1% fat milk or skimmed milk instead of whole or semi-skimmed milk.”

- “Mayonnaise can be really high in saturated fat. It can turn a healthy looking meal like a salad into a less healthy one in just a couple of dollops! Keep an eye on the salad dressings too – try using low fat options, or using less than usual.”

In fairness, the leaflet also has a section on “Smart Swaps” to reduce sugar (although they mainly involve using sugar alternatives to soft drinks) but seems oblivious to the fact that its low-fat suggestions will be having precisely the opposite effect.

No doubt this leaflet is well-intentioned, but is it really still acceptable for governments to be giving out this kind of advice advocating low-fat products?

See more at the Change4Life website

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