At holiday celebrations, in movie theaters and in homes, Cornell studies show that people eat an average of 28% more total calories when they eat low-fat snacks than when they eat regular ones.
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Do Low-fat Foods Make Us Fat? Mindless Eating Leads Us to Consume More Calories
Dr. Diet weighs in:
Since fat is often replaced with sugar, people should not think of low-fat snacks as being low-calorie snacks.
According to the lead researcher, Brian Wansink, people think that low fat snacks are 40% lower in calories than regular snacks when in fact, they're only 11% lower in calories.
These studies offer dieters a good reminder that total calories are what's most important when making food selections. Also, knowing that people are likely to overeat low fat foods will make you more aware of this potential problem.
I encourage you this holiday season to pay more attention to your snack food selections, know that low fat snacks are not drastically lower in calories and that moderation is a strategy that still applies and works well whether you're eating full fat or low fat snack foods.