Food Labels, Decoded
What it means: The product contains less than 0.5 gram of fat per serving. “Low fat” means there are three grams or less of fat per serving. “Light” means the food has up to 50 percent less fat than its full-fat counterpart.
The health implications: Trimming fat from your diet can help lower overall calorie intake and spur weight loss. But don’t banish fat: Aim to get 25 to 35 percent of your total calories from fat―from sources like canola and olive oils, nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish, like salmon.
Keep in mind: When removing fat, manufacturers often add extra sugar or starch to keep products palatable. Also, fat-free products may cause people to overeat, most likely because the products are less satisfying.
Bottom line: Skip the often tasteless fat-free stuff and instead choose low-fat foods, which are more filling. Or have a smaller amount of the full-fat version.