Fat-free, low-fat and reduced fat foods may sound like a good idea. While less fat in your diet can be a good thing, products with these labels usually come at a price: When the fat is removed from a product, its sodium and sugar content often increases, as does the thickener and chemical content, all in the name of trying to mimic full-fat flavor and mouth-feel.
Fat helps your body function properly, absorb important vitamins and minerals, and regulate your hormones; the fat in the food we eat also help us know when we're full so we don't overeat. Fat is also energy for the body. Your goal shouldn't be to eliminate all fats from your diet; rather, it's the type of fat that you eat that matters. Saturated fats (such as butter) and trans fats (including partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils) are so-called bad fats, and are linked to chronic conditions such as inflammation, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Unsaturated fats such as omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, are considered heart-healthy fats. Look for polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, and replace solid fats with healthier vegetable oils.