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Why You Should Stop Buying Sugar-Free and Fat-Free Foods Once and for All

Why You Should Stop Buying Sugar-Free and Fat-Free Foods Once and for All

Just because a food is labeled “fat-free” or “sugar-free” doesn’t make it guilt-free

Enough is enough. Sugar- and fat-free food isn’t as healthy as food industry marketing departments want you to think.

In an effort to eat and drink healthily, you may be tempted to reach for foods labelled with buzzwords and phrases like “fat-free,” “sugar-free,” or “only 4g net carbs.” While some foods are naturally fat- and sugar-free, many times foods labelled as such contain ingredients that allow them to be low in fat and sugars. Undoubtedly, however, the additives rendering sugar-free foods to be sugar-free are manmade, non-naturally occurring, and, as you’ll see, potentially detrimental to your health.

Click here to see more foods that are ruining your diet.

Fat-free isn’t guilt-free. A great place to see this is in cheese. It’s safe to say that a traditional cheese should contain fat and protein. Thus, when you see a fat-free or low-fat cheese advertised, you should be wary. Many times, cheeses are processed with chemicals in order to allow them to hold a “fat-free” designation. And, as we hope you’re aware, there’s a staunch difference between cheese and processed cheese products. One common cheese additive, sodium phosphate, has been shown to have a link to kidney damage, while another, an artificial coloring called yellow 6, is banned elsewhere in the world.

Sugar alcohols also give you a false sense of a food’s healthiness. They have allowed many foods (protein bars are a great example) to tote low levels of net carbs, but this doesn’t mean the food is inherently healthier nor should it be considered natural. These substances (you’ll see them on ingredients lists with names like sorbitol and glycerol) are said to have little impact on your blood sugar levels, making them non-impact carbs. When subtracted from the carbs that do affect your blood sugar levels, you’re left with a total net carb count. While a bar may advertise having low net carbohydrates, this doesn’t mean that sugar alcohols don’t carry calories. Thus, if someone only factors in their net carbs and not the total level of carbohydrates, they’re missing a good percentage of the calories they’re taking in. Plus, sugar alcohols can be bad for your belly.

Speaking of carbs, sugar-free foods often replace sugars with artificial sweeteners. Other than the fact that some people wouldn’t dream of consuming any food that has “artificial” anything listed in its ingredients list, there’s a large pool of people who believe artificial sweeteners to be quite unhealthy. While it may seem like everything causes cancer these days, there’s something to be said for eating whole, natural foods as opposed to artificial, chemically-modified food sources. While organic foods may be more expensive, your body and mind will surely benefit from leaving fat- and sugar-free behind and making the switch from processed foods to whole, natural foods.

The accompanying slideshow is provided by special contributor Yasmin Fahr.


Foods to Avoid When You Have Diabetes

Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist.

Ana Maria Kausel, MD, is a double board-certified endocrinologist affiliated with Mount Sinai St. Luke's/Mount Sinai West in New York City.

There's nothing worse than hearing what you should not eat, especially when you have diabetes. The good news is that there are a plethora of nutritious and delicious foods that you can eat. Still, certain food choices, particularly those rich in carbohydrates, can cause blood sugars to rise quickly. This can make you feel sluggish, cause high blood sugar, and even pack on weight.

Some of these foods are obvious because they contain added sugars—for example candies, cookies, soda, and so on. Other foods, even those you may think are healthy, may also be foods you want to limit due to their high carbohydrate content, lack of fiber, and limited nutritional value. This doesn't mean you should never eat these foods, but it's best to avoid them regularly and, when you do indulge, to watch your portion and be aware of their carbohydrate counts. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends 45% of total daily caloric intake be from carbohydrate sources.  


Foods to Avoid When You Have Diabetes

Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist.

Ana Maria Kausel, MD, is a double board-certified endocrinologist affiliated with Mount Sinai St. Luke's/Mount Sinai West in New York City.

There's nothing worse than hearing what you should not eat, especially when you have diabetes. The good news is that there are a plethora of nutritious and delicious foods that you can eat. Still, certain food choices, particularly those rich in carbohydrates, can cause blood sugars to rise quickly. This can make you feel sluggish, cause high blood sugar, and even pack on weight.

Some of these foods are obvious because they contain added sugars—for example candies, cookies, soda, and so on. Other foods, even those you may think are healthy, may also be foods you want to limit due to their high carbohydrate content, lack of fiber, and limited nutritional value. This doesn't mean you should never eat these foods, but it's best to avoid them regularly and, when you do indulge, to watch your portion and be aware of their carbohydrate counts. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends 45% of total daily caloric intake be from carbohydrate sources.  


Foods to Avoid When You Have Diabetes

Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist.

Ana Maria Kausel, MD, is a double board-certified endocrinologist affiliated with Mount Sinai St. Luke's/Mount Sinai West in New York City.

There's nothing worse than hearing what you should not eat, especially when you have diabetes. The good news is that there are a plethora of nutritious and delicious foods that you can eat. Still, certain food choices, particularly those rich in carbohydrates, can cause blood sugars to rise quickly. This can make you feel sluggish, cause high blood sugar, and even pack on weight.

Some of these foods are obvious because they contain added sugars—for example candies, cookies, soda, and so on. Other foods, even those you may think are healthy, may also be foods you want to limit due to their high carbohydrate content, lack of fiber, and limited nutritional value. This doesn't mean you should never eat these foods, but it's best to avoid them regularly and, when you do indulge, to watch your portion and be aware of their carbohydrate counts. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends 45% of total daily caloric intake be from carbohydrate sources.  


Foods to Avoid When You Have Diabetes

Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist.

Ana Maria Kausel, MD, is a double board-certified endocrinologist affiliated with Mount Sinai St. Luke's/Mount Sinai West in New York City.

There's nothing worse than hearing what you should not eat, especially when you have diabetes. The good news is that there are a plethora of nutritious and delicious foods that you can eat. Still, certain food choices, particularly those rich in carbohydrates, can cause blood sugars to rise quickly. This can make you feel sluggish, cause high blood sugar, and even pack on weight.

Some of these foods are obvious because they contain added sugars—for example candies, cookies, soda, and so on. Other foods, even those you may think are healthy, may also be foods you want to limit due to their high carbohydrate content, lack of fiber, and limited nutritional value. This doesn't mean you should never eat these foods, but it's best to avoid them regularly and, when you do indulge, to watch your portion and be aware of their carbohydrate counts. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends 45% of total daily caloric intake be from carbohydrate sources.  


Foods to Avoid When You Have Diabetes

Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist.

Ana Maria Kausel, MD, is a double board-certified endocrinologist affiliated with Mount Sinai St. Luke's/Mount Sinai West in New York City.

There's nothing worse than hearing what you should not eat, especially when you have diabetes. The good news is that there are a plethora of nutritious and delicious foods that you can eat. Still, certain food choices, particularly those rich in carbohydrates, can cause blood sugars to rise quickly. This can make you feel sluggish, cause high blood sugar, and even pack on weight.

Some of these foods are obvious because they contain added sugars—for example candies, cookies, soda, and so on. Other foods, even those you may think are healthy, may also be foods you want to limit due to their high carbohydrate content, lack of fiber, and limited nutritional value. This doesn't mean you should never eat these foods, but it's best to avoid them regularly and, when you do indulge, to watch your portion and be aware of their carbohydrate counts. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends 45% of total daily caloric intake be from carbohydrate sources.  


Foods to Avoid When You Have Diabetes

Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist.

Ana Maria Kausel, MD, is a double board-certified endocrinologist affiliated with Mount Sinai St. Luke's/Mount Sinai West in New York City.

There's nothing worse than hearing what you should not eat, especially when you have diabetes. The good news is that there are a plethora of nutritious and delicious foods that you can eat. Still, certain food choices, particularly those rich in carbohydrates, can cause blood sugars to rise quickly. This can make you feel sluggish, cause high blood sugar, and even pack on weight.

Some of these foods are obvious because they contain added sugars—for example candies, cookies, soda, and so on. Other foods, even those you may think are healthy, may also be foods you want to limit due to their high carbohydrate content, lack of fiber, and limited nutritional value. This doesn't mean you should never eat these foods, but it's best to avoid them regularly and, when you do indulge, to watch your portion and be aware of their carbohydrate counts. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends 45% of total daily caloric intake be from carbohydrate sources.  


Foods to Avoid When You Have Diabetes

Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist.

Ana Maria Kausel, MD, is a double board-certified endocrinologist affiliated with Mount Sinai St. Luke's/Mount Sinai West in New York City.

There's nothing worse than hearing what you should not eat, especially when you have diabetes. The good news is that there are a plethora of nutritious and delicious foods that you can eat. Still, certain food choices, particularly those rich in carbohydrates, can cause blood sugars to rise quickly. This can make you feel sluggish, cause high blood sugar, and even pack on weight.

Some of these foods are obvious because they contain added sugars—for example candies, cookies, soda, and so on. Other foods, even those you may think are healthy, may also be foods you want to limit due to their high carbohydrate content, lack of fiber, and limited nutritional value. This doesn't mean you should never eat these foods, but it's best to avoid them regularly and, when you do indulge, to watch your portion and be aware of their carbohydrate counts. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends 45% of total daily caloric intake be from carbohydrate sources.  


Foods to Avoid When You Have Diabetes

Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist.

Ana Maria Kausel, MD, is a double board-certified endocrinologist affiliated with Mount Sinai St. Luke's/Mount Sinai West in New York City.

There's nothing worse than hearing what you should not eat, especially when you have diabetes. The good news is that there are a plethora of nutritious and delicious foods that you can eat. Still, certain food choices, particularly those rich in carbohydrates, can cause blood sugars to rise quickly. This can make you feel sluggish, cause high blood sugar, and even pack on weight.

Some of these foods are obvious because they contain added sugars—for example candies, cookies, soda, and so on. Other foods, even those you may think are healthy, may also be foods you want to limit due to their high carbohydrate content, lack of fiber, and limited nutritional value. This doesn't mean you should never eat these foods, but it's best to avoid them regularly and, when you do indulge, to watch your portion and be aware of their carbohydrate counts. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends 45% of total daily caloric intake be from carbohydrate sources.  


Foods to Avoid When You Have Diabetes

Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist.

Ana Maria Kausel, MD, is a double board-certified endocrinologist affiliated with Mount Sinai St. Luke's/Mount Sinai West in New York City.

There's nothing worse than hearing what you should not eat, especially when you have diabetes. The good news is that there are a plethora of nutritious and delicious foods that you can eat. Still, certain food choices, particularly those rich in carbohydrates, can cause blood sugars to rise quickly. This can make you feel sluggish, cause high blood sugar, and even pack on weight.

Some of these foods are obvious because they contain added sugars—for example candies, cookies, soda, and so on. Other foods, even those you may think are healthy, may also be foods you want to limit due to their high carbohydrate content, lack of fiber, and limited nutritional value. This doesn't mean you should never eat these foods, but it's best to avoid them regularly and, when you do indulge, to watch your portion and be aware of their carbohydrate counts. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends 45% of total daily caloric intake be from carbohydrate sources.  


Foods to Avoid When You Have Diabetes

Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDCES, CDN, is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist.

Ana Maria Kausel, MD, is a double board-certified endocrinologist affiliated with Mount Sinai St. Luke's/Mount Sinai West in New York City.

There's nothing worse than hearing what you should not eat, especially when you have diabetes. The good news is that there are a plethora of nutritious and delicious foods that you can eat. Still, certain food choices, particularly those rich in carbohydrates, can cause blood sugars to rise quickly. This can make you feel sluggish, cause high blood sugar, and even pack on weight.

Some of these foods are obvious because they contain added sugars—for example candies, cookies, soda, and so on. Other foods, even those you may think are healthy, may also be foods you want to limit due to their high carbohydrate content, lack of fiber, and limited nutritional value. This doesn't mean you should never eat these foods, but it's best to avoid them regularly and, when you do indulge, to watch your portion and be aware of their carbohydrate counts. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends 45% of total daily caloric intake be from carbohydrate sources.