A well balanced diet consisting predominately of low fat foods is a great way to help you lose weight and keep your blood cholesterol within the ideal range. Foods that contain less than 3 grams of fat in each serving are considered low in fat and typically generate lower calories. However, this may not always hold true since a good amount of calories also comes from sugar. Low fat foods are not necessarily low in sugar, and vice versa, low sugared foods can hold considerable amounts of fat.
Fat and Sugar
Fats and sugars are two completely different sources of nutrition. Fat is synonymous with oil. Its hydrophobic properties make it essential to maintaining the integrity of your cell membrane. You also need fat to absorb your fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A and E. Extra dietary fat is stored in your adipose tissue as body fat.
Sugar, on the other hand, is a subcategory of carbohydrates. It is water soluble and is used in your body as the immediate source of energy. Unlike fat, excess dietary sugar cannot be directly stored. Your body transforms a limited amount of sugar into glycogen for backup energy. Any additional unused sugar is converted into fat.
Foods High in Fat and Sugar
It is in your best interest to keep away from fatty and sugary foods such as donuts, cheesecake, full fat ice cream and pastries. Too much fat intake not only generates lots of calories and makes you gain weight, high fat diets can also lead to the buildup of your blood cholesterol and increase your risks of high blood pressure and heart disease. Too much sugar is also bad for your health, and can be especially dangerous if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic.
Foods Low in Fat, High in Sugar
Certain fruits especially dried fruits, refined flour, reduced fat or nonfat dairy products are prime examples of foods that do not contain a lot of fat but are highly sugared. Though typically these foods are not so calorie loaded, it is still recommended that you do not over-indulge on these. It is especially crucial for diabetics to monitor their intake of sugary foods.
Foods Low in Sugar, High in Fat
Artificially sweetened desserts, nuts, fried food and red meats are some examples of fattening foods that are low in sugar. Though most of these foods are typically not conducive to weight loss, regulating intake of nuts and seeds can be beneficial for your health. Studies have shown that nuts like almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, and sunflower seeds contain essential fatty acids and phytosterols that can help reduce your cholesterol level and prevent diseases like cancer. Moderate intake of nuts and seeds has also been shown to help you control your appetite and can assist you in weight loss.
Foods Low in Fat and Sugar
These foods are your best choices for weight control and health maintenance. Vegetables, beans, legumes, fish, lean meat and whole grains are all great in terms of nutritional value. They are low calorie, and are highly rich in protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals that are required for proper body function and disease prevention.