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Does low fat mean low kilojoules?

Not necessarily. Low fat means that the overall amount of fat has been reduced. Beware. When reducing the fat content many times food manufacturers will increase the sugar, or the amount of carbohydrates in order to increase the flavour and keep you buying. So while you may be getting less fat you may be getting more sugar or salt.

Low kilojoule or low calories means that the product contains fewer calories than a comparable version of that food. It may be that the serving size is smaller or than something has been reduced or removed to lower the calories – read the label to determine which has been done.

In order to find out if low fat also means low kilojoules for a particular product you will have to read the nutritional information provided on the packaging. Compare a low fat version and a regular version of the product and see how they compare. Is there added sugar? Look for ingredients ending in –ose, -ase and –ol – these can mean added sugar.

Low fat usually equals high-carb but doesn’t necessarily mean low-kilojoule. If you eat too many carbohydrates, particularly of the processed variety, you can be ingesting food that is actually more concentrated in kilojoules and calories. On the other hand usually low-carb means high fat. There are many hidden ways that the kilojoules are being put back into the foods that you are choosing since they are labelled low fat.

Any strict diet of low fat, low carb or low kilojoule can be difficult to maintain. A healthy option may be to choose tasty, fresh, unprocessed foods to make up the bulk of your diet and if deciding on a low version of any product then, ensure that you read the labels carefully. Portion control is another very important consideration. Honestly, most of us just eat too much. Rather than worry about low this and reduced that we should focus on the amount that we eat overall. Fill most of your plate with fresh fruit, vegetables and salad – naturally low fat and low in kilojoules.
This type of eating plan is more likely to be something that you can keep up long term and for the betterment of your overall health and wellbeing.

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