The Hidden Fat in Healthy Foods

You need to make sure you watch your fat intake not only for your diet, but for your health as well. As you well know, taking in too much fat in your diet leads to weight gain. This fat is hard to lose and will require a good diet and exercise program to get rid of. Fat is also bad for your health. Saturated fats are hidden in foods everywhere. You may not even realize it. However, you need to take the time to read the labels on the foods you buy. Bad fats can lead to heart disease.

Sneaky Salad Dressing

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they eat is to not look at foods that may contain hidden fat. You may even think you are eating a healthy meal, only to learn that it is loaded with hidden fat. One such example is salad dressing. Many salad dressings that are full fat, do contain a high amount of saturated fats. Just look at the label and see the fat content.

If you are like most people, you will eat more than one serving of dressing on your salad. One serving is only one or two tablespoons! That means you could be adding over 20 grams of fat or more on your once healthy salad. One solution to the too-fattening salad is to shop smart. Look at the dressing before you buy. Low fat and non-fat dressings are preferable. These often contain less saturated fat than regular dressings.

Got Milk?

Another source of hidden fat that you may have not considered is dairy. You probably think that all dairy products are good for you. You need the calcium and this is the best way to get it. However, stop and read the labels. Dairy, especially cheese and whole milk is loaded with fat. This is not good for you at all.

Butter also contains a high amount of fat. So, what should you do? You need to start reading the labels and making healthy choices. For example, it is not hard to switch to skim milk. Think about all the calories and fat you will be saving.

Low fat cheese is also available. You can also think about cheese that is naturally lower in fat such as goat cheese, low fat mozzarella and Parmesan. Making that change is relatively easy. If you simply must have your cheddar cheese, then watch your serving size. One serving of cheddar is usually one ounce. That is a small amount.

Chicken Skin Music

Poultry can be another source of hidden fat. Chicken and turkey must be better for you than beef or pork. Right? Well, not always. If you eat lean chicken and turkey and do away with the skin, then it is better for you. However, if you eat dark meat and the skin, then it is very high in fat and not very good for you. A lean steak is better than that kind of poultry. Also watch the way it is cooked. Of course, you know that fried foods add tons of fat.

Diabetics Beware

As anyone who has diabetes certainly is already aware, many so-called healthy foods found in the all-natural food stores are anything but, for some people. Organic sugar is still sugar.

Even if you do not have diabetes, you should tend to avoid starchy foods such as cooked carrots, potatoes, parsnips, and squash. These foods have high Glycemic Index (GI) ratings, and trigger abrupt rises in insulin after eating. This is bad for everyone, as it puts undue stress on your system, and leads to more sugar being stored in your body (in the form of Fat).

What kinds of foods are high GI foods? In general, food that tastes very sweet, like chocolate, honey, cookies, sugar, and sweet drinks rate high on the GI scale. Observe moderation with these.

Image: Espresso Cup, credit: bradleypjohnson, Creative Commons License