For a food to be labeled "fat-free" it has to contain less than 0.5g of fat per serving. The term is attractive to consumers because it gives the impression that it can be eaten in large amounts without having to worry about gaining weight.
The Grain of Truth
If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. A gram of fat contains 9 calories, whereas a gram of protein or carbohydrate contains only 4 calories. Therefore, if most of the food you consume is high in fat, your calorie intake is likely to be higher. However a food containing fat that has the same number of calories as food without fat is not worse for you.
Foods that are naturally fat free are healthy. These foods are most fruits and vegetables (except for coconut and avocado), grains when they are closest to their natural form and beans. Though dairy products have to be processed somewhat to be fat free, they are still good for you.
The list of foods that are modified to be fat free is virtually endless and growing all the time. Keep in mind that even though 0.5g of fat seems negligible, this refers to per serving, and serving sizes are usually very small portions. Also, foods that have been modified to be fat free often have more calories than their fat-containing counterparts because lots of sugar has been added to replace the fat for taste.
The Good Fat
Fats are vital for many of the systems of the brain and the body such as cardiovascular, immune, reproductive and nervous. Fats are also needed for membrane repair and cushioning and insulation. The fat you want to consume are omega-3's and 6's and are referred to as essential fatty acids because they cannot be made in the body and so must be consumed.
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