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One of the most popular phrases in today’s health-conscious society is “low-fat.” Other common phrases we hear are “low-fat diet,” “sugar-free,” or “calorie-free.” The belief is these foods are healthy because they are low in fat or calories. As a result, some believe they are healthier than other food choices available.

How many health-conscious individuals believe these foods will help them get in better shape?

The reality is these foods aren’t as healthy as advertised. In actuality, they are more hurtful than helpful.


The US Food and Drug Administration has strict rules on how the following terms are to be used: 

Sugar-free/fat-free: These products must have less than .5 grams per serving.

Low cholesterol: These foods are 20mg or less of saturated fat per serving.

Low fat: These foods have less than 3 grams of fat per serving.

While these sound good, the issue is what is added to the product in place of what has been removed. Some may assume that the ingredients remaining in the product are healthy, but in many cases they are not. There’s a strong possibility they are worse than what was removed.

A product may be sugar-free, but instead of sugar, other harmful ingredients such as artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, additives or preservatives are added. This is done to improve its taste or make it visually appealing. They may look and taste better, but are they healthy?


Foods labeled low fat, sugar-free, and so on aren’t as healthy as people believe. Instead of sugar, they are replaced with something else:

High fructose corn syrup is an artificial sweetener that has been linked to the following health issues:

  • Increased weight gain

  • Hypertension

  • Increased risk of type II diabetes

  • Increased risk of high blood pressure

  • Elevated cholesterol levels

Aspartame is another artificial sweetener that has been used in lieu of sugar. Aspartame has been linked to the following ailments:

  • Headaches

  • Dizziness

  • Digestive problems

  • Alzheimer disease

  • Diabetes

  • Brain tumors in rats  

  • Attention deficit disorders.


In many cases, foods labeled as low-fat foods are loaded with sugar instead. A study of 100 low or non-fat grocery items from major supermarkets found that dozens contained at least two teaspoons of total sugar in a single serving. One in four products contained more than three teaspoons!

Food additives are another harmful ingredient to look out for on foods labeled as healthy, lite, low in calories or fat-free are food additives.

There are many types of food additives, but here are a few of the most common and the potential health risks they pose:


Associated Foods

Potential Risks

Sodium nitrate

Corned beef, processed meats

linked to cancer in humans


Potato chips, crackers

Diarrhea, abdominal pain, reduces the body’s ability to absorb less soluble nutrients

Hydrogenated vegetable oil

Cookies, bread, salad dressings

Increases risk of diabetes and heart disease

Food colorings Yellow 6, Red 3, Green 3, Blue 1 & 2

Candies, beverages, gelatin

Linked to brain tumors, kidney tumors, cancer


Soft drinks, chewing gum, baked goods

Affect thyroid functioning in rats and rabbits


Some people may be unaware their favorite foods contain these dangerous additives. They believe they are making wise food choices but that may not be the case. Reading food labels is critical, and if these ingredients are detected you should consider choosing alternatives.


Many of the foods people think are healthy contain additives and have little nutritional value. Foods that claim to be healthy should have vitamins and nutrients in their ingredients, no dangerous additives. Here are tips on avoiding these harmful foods:

  1. Avoid food packed in boxes. To increase their shelf life, many additives and preservatives are added.

  2. Opt for (organic) fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods are high in nutritional value and are free of additives.

  3. Opt for water instead of soda. Water has zero calories and flushes toxins out of the system.

  4. Avoid ready-made meals. Prepare foods using fresh ingredients.

Avoid foods with health claims on its cover. Your body will thank you!

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