Why isn't my low-fat diet working?

Kerry Torrens explains why some low-fat diets are high in sugar, and how the white stuff may be scuppering your weight-loss goals...

Why isn't my low-fat diet working?

Although we think of sugar as the stuff in our sugar bowl, that's not the full picture. Many foods, such as white bread, pasta and rice, are made up of sugars, and that's what we break them down to when we digest them.

These foods, like sugar, can cause blood sugar swings and cravings, and if you eat too many your body converts the excess into fat for storage. Some low-fat diets are high in these types of foods, so take another look at your diet and focus on making these simple changes:


...white bread, rice and pasta with wholegrain versions, like oats, granary or wholemeal breads, brown rice and wholewheat pasta.
Recipe suggestions:
Chicken & vegetable stew with wholemeal couscous
Miso prawn skewers with veggie rice salad
Apple & sultana porridge
Spaghetti with caramelised onion, kale & Gorgonzola
Malted walnut seed loaf

Oven-baked fish & chips Avoid...

...low-fat diet foods, which tend to be high in sugars, and have smaller portions of the regular versions.
If you're sticking to low-fat meals, make yours from scratch to ensure minimum added sugar:
Oven-baked fish & chips
Low-fat roasties
Spiced turkey with bulghar & pomegranate salad
Red lentil, chickpea & chilli soup
More low-fat recipe ideas

Be wary...

...of 'sugar-free' foods, which contain synthetic sweeteners such as sucralose, saccharin and aspartame. As they're sweet, they don't help to curb your sweet tooth and send confusing messages to your brain, which can lead to overeating.

Dill scones with smoked salmon & cucumber relish Balance...

...your carb intake with lean protein such as fish, chicken and turkey, as protein slows down your digestion, which helps to manage cravings.
Lean protein lunches:
Asian chicken salad
Turkey & spring onion wraps
Dill scones with smoked salmon & cucumber relish
Quinoa stew with squash, prunes & pomegranate

Stick to...

...one glass of fruit juice a day (or dilute it) and keep sweet soft drinks and alcohol for weekends. Instead, enjoy herbal teas or water with slices of lime or orange.


AppleFor a pick-me-up...

...have a piece of whole fruit with a handful of nuts or a small tub of plain yogurt, both of which contain protein that slows digestion.

Or, if you really need a sweet fix, try a natural sugar substitute like stevia. It's sweeter than normal sugar but doesn't cause the same kind of rise in blood sugar levels.

All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact  your local health care provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

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