When you’re at the supermarket doing your weekly shop, the last thing you want to do is read the nutritional value of every food item. So you rely on what the labelling says, if it says it’s low fat, light or lite, you take that as an indicator that, that particular food is ideal if you’re trying to lose weight.
You automatically believe that by choosing the lighter version over the standard version you’re going to be consuming fewer calories, well according to a research carried out by the consumer watchdog Which, this is not always the case.
Read all about their shocking findings below, taken from The Guardian
Low Fat Foods have similar Calorie Counts To Their Standard Versions
So-called “low fat” foods can contain a similar number of calories to the standard versions – and in some cases contain even more sugar, according to a study by a consumer watchdog.
The investigation by Which? found that as many as six out of 10 consumers eat low-fat and light foods several times a week believing that they are a healthier option and can help them to lose weight. But its “snapshot sample” of 12 low-fat, reduced and light products from supermarkets compared with their standard counterparts found minimal differences in calorie content.
Among the foods singled out are a standard McVitie’s chocolate digestive, which contains 85 calories, compared with 77 in the “light” version – a difference of just eight calories.
A Tesco low-fat yogurt has more calories per pot – 130 – compared with the Activia standard yoghurt, containing 123 calories. The Tesco yogurt also contained more sugar – 20.2g (equivalent to more than four teaspoons) per pot rather than 16.9g in the Activia version.
Which? said its research also uncovered misconceptions among consumers about what the terms “reduced fat” and “light” mean. Products labelled with these terms only have to contain 30% less fat than the standard version, yet only 16% of people surveyed understood this.
Labelling regulations define low fat as containing less than 3% fat, the terms reduced fat, light and lite mean 30% less fat than the standard or original product, and more than 20g of fat per 100g makes a product high in fat. More than 5g saturated fat per 100g means it is high in saturated fat.Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: “Consumers are choosing ‘low-fat’ and ‘light’ options believing them to be a healthier choice, but our research has found that in many cases they’re just not living up to their healthy image. Our advice to consumers is to read the nutritional labels carefully.” Continue the article here.
Wow, I’m gob smacked, that is really misleading. You would think that big brand names like these would be more transparent on their food packaging, you would think that they would make it their responsibility to clearly translate how healthy or not a food item is, not call something light when they know that the majority of us are going to interpret that as being low in calories, when really it’s not.
So if you have always accepted a food to be low in calories because it says so on the packaging, I would now think twice and take a closer look at the nutritional value, and lets hope that’s correct.
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