Why You Should Never Eat Fat Free Yogurt
We’ve been told for years that fat is bad for us and that we should opt for low-fat or fat-free foods whenever possible.
Today, we choose fat-free food without even thinking about it, assuming that it’s automatically the healthier choice. Fat-free milk, fat-free cheese, and fat-free yogurt have become staples in many diets, especially those of the weight-conscious (but not you keto fan boys and girls. You guys know what’s up).
And while these low-fat options may sound like the better choice for your body, there’s a catch. A few of them, in fact. Let’s explore them below.
6 reasons why you shouldn’t eat fat-free yogurt
1. High in sugar
When the fat is removed from yogurt, so is much of its flavor. To compensate for this, manufacturers often add sugar or artificial sweeteners to improve taste.
A single serving of fat-free Greek yogurt can have as much as 15-20 grams of added sugars – that’s five teaspoons worth! In contrast, a serving of full-fat Greek yogurt has only about one teaspoon.
Excessive consumption of sugary foods and beverages contributes to weight gain, tooth decay, and chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
2. Lower in nutrients
Fats are not all bad, some types of fat are actually essential for good health. Low-fat or fat-free yogurt may be lower in calories, but it’s also lower in essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D, E, and K.
These nutrients are crucial for brain function, hormone production, bone health, and immune system support. Without adequate amounts of them in our diet, we risk compromising our overall health.
3. Not as filling
Fat is a satiating nutrient that helps us feel fuller longer after eating. When fats are removed from yogurt to make it low-fat or fat-free, it becomes less satiating and may leave us feeling hungry soon after.
As a result, we might end up consuming more calories than intended later on to compensate for the hunger. In contrast, eating full-fat yogurt keeps us satisfied for longer periods and can help prevent overeating throughout the day.
4. Processing concerns
Fat-free yogurt typically requires more processing to make it palatable without fat. This processing often involves adding thickeners such as gelatin or cornstarch, which dilute nutrients even further.
These additives may not necessarily be harmful on their own, but they can contribute to the overall processed nature of the food. Additionally, some processing methods involved in making fat-free yogurt may reduce its probiotic content.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in our gut and promote digestive health and immunity. Choosing a full-fat or low-fat yogurt instead means we get the benefits of those probiotics.
5. Not inherently healthier
As a rule of thumb, if governments and major food organizations are pushing something, it’s usually because it benefits some industry rather than the consumer. Now, that might be me being mistrustful, but it’s been shown time and time again that what is marketed to us as healthy isn’t always so.
Low-fat or fat-free foods are no exception. Just because something has less fat doesn’t mean it automatically makes it a healthier choice for our bodies.
In fact, studies have found that individuals who regularly consume full-fat dairy have lower rates of diabetes and obesity than those who opt for low-fat dairy products.
The bottom line is: fat-free yogurt on its own isn’t going to make you healthier if the rest of your diet is full of processed and sugary foods.
6. It won’t stop you from gaining weight
The idea of eating fat-free yogurt as part of a calorie-controlled diet for weight loss seems like an obvious choice. More so because it’s lower in calories than full-fat options.
But the catch is that low-fat or fat-free foods are often higher in carbohydrates, particularly sugars and refined carbs, which have been linked to obesity.
Carbs are processed much faster by our bodies than fats, which means that sugar gets absorbed and metabolized quickly.
This can result in blood sugar spikes and crashes, which may lead to increased hunger and cravings for more carbs or sugary foods. So while fat-free yogurt may have fewer calories overall, it won’t necessarily keep you feeling fuller for longer periods or help you avoid overeating.
Guys and gals, it’s time we ditched the notion that fat-free equals healthier, and instead started embracing full-fat options. Well, at least some of the time.
Fat isn’t the enemy. In fact, it’s an essential nutrient for our bodies to function properly. That doesn’t mean we should consume excessive amounts of it, but we shouldn’t shy away from it entirely either.
When it comes to yogurt, full-fat or low-fat versions are, in many cases, a better choice than the fat-free option. They contain more nutrients, are more satiating and nourishing, and help us maintain steady energy levels throughout the day.