Before the trend on organic foods, organic gardening, and even organic clothing create a stir in the market, we were already introduced to low fat foods, which is dubbed to be the better alternative to fatty foods. Fatty foods have always been touted as the culprit to almost all generative diseases you could ever imagine. Awareness to the negative effects of fatty foods to our body led to the significance of low fat foods in our daily diet. Everybody actually rejoiced when low fat food choices have increased. Sadly, analysis made by the Telegraph shows that most low fat foods actually contain harmful levels of sugar, which apparently decrease the health value of low fat food choices since high sugar diet is renowned to be a culprit of various health woes too including obesity, tooth decay, diabetes, kidney failure, and even cancer.
A recent study conducted by Telegraph showed that numerous low fat food options contain as much more sugar as their full fat alternatives. It also included food choices that are labeled healthy, no fat, no hydrogenated fat and reduced fat. Examples of these misleading foods include low fat yoghurt, low fat cereals, Tesco sausage, and other ready to eat low fat snacks. The study results showed that the foods mentioned above that are sold in 100 renowned groceries and big supermarkets in Britain contain 3-5 times more sugar than the recommended level. As per World Health Organization (WHO), the recommended intake of a person’s added sugar should be halved to six teaspoons per day in order to avoid dental cavities as well as various sicknesses caused by excessive sugar intake. While manufacturing companies of these low fat food options don’t mean harm but only to improve the taste of their products, health enthusiasts and campaigners simply couldn’t shake off the fact that their goods are unhealthy despite being ‘low fat’. In fact, scientists warn that the sugar content is too high. In addition to that, the study made by Telegraph showed that one low fat meal contains six times as much sugar than its full fat equivalent meal while‘fat free’ yoghurt contains as much sugar as the chocolate Mars bar. A 1 liter low fat chocolate milk drink has 30 teaspoons of sugar while an apple and black berry crumble labeled with healthy living has 5 and a half teaspoons of sugar.
A cardiologist and director of Action on Sugar, Aseem Malhotra, stated that these food manufacturers allow the spread of chronic diseases by misleading their consumers into buying products that sound healthy, but in reality, they’re not. The cardiologist cited that too much sugar in the diet can increase a person’s risk to acquire cardiovascular diseases even if he/she is not obese. A nutritionist in the name of Ian Marber noted that the practice of healthy labeling on products is clearly a distraction, but not a helpful step towards the selling of really healthy foods. A nutrition professor in a university added that clear labeling should be made in order to avoid other similar instances to happen again. Meanwhile, other consumers claim that low fat alternatives aren’t really a healthy option and should have never been religiously consumed in the first place.
The overwhelming results of the study sparked numerous unenthusiastic reactions from consumers. Some are blaming the government for being lenient on these giant food manufacturers when it comes to food content regulations, specifically citing an example on the freedom of food manufacturers to have a say on health. Some consumers also abhor the government’s inadequacy to protect its citizens from manipulation of food industries, adding that it may just be interested on the profits and not really on its peoples’ health. But while consumers are feeling aghast, manufacturers continue to insist that acquiring diseases isn’t just a product of one’s diet, but also of one’s lifestyle.
On Wednesday, World Health Organization made its formal recommendation that sugar intake should never be more than 12 level teaspoons of added sugar for an average adult. By added sugar, WHO means the sugar added by the manufacturing company minus the natural sugars found in honey, fruit juices, and other similar edible ingredients. Consequently, consuming foods with sugar content below the recommended level is definitely more favorable to one’s health.
Definitely, the news is both alarming and saddening because a lot of us are starting to get used to grabbing a no fat or low fat options at grocery stores. While this clearly shows that we need to read labels more carefully and better start switching to all-natural diet, it is also very important to remember that the food manufacturers’ point on diseases being a product of lifestyle is undeniably true. It is then imperative that we start choosing healthier options such as natural and locally derived fruits and vegetables and less on processed and packed food choices. Apart from that, saying goodbye to alcohol and cigarettes as well as sweating it out are other things to consider.