Why Do Low Fat Foods Taste Good?

Letter Low fat foods have become popular in recent decades because of the erroneous believe that dietary fat causes obesity and leads to cardiovascular disease. However, dietary fat is appealing to human tastes and also provides texture to certain foods. Removing fat from foods is problematic because it removes some of the texture and much of the taste. Foods without dietary fatty acids tend to be bland and as a result are avoided by consumers. Therefore, the food industry has been unable to simply remove fat from products because the consumer would not find the foods appealing to eat. As a result sucrose and other sugars have increasingly been added to low fat products in order to provide a palatable alternative to the high fat counterparts. This has been largely successful commercially as low fat foods now account for significant revenue to the food manufacturers.

However, this has come at a cost to the health of the people who eat the products. Sucrose is problematic because it contains a moiety of fructose. Fructose is thought to cause insulin resistance in mammals, and this may lead to the development of leptin resistance and metabolic syndrome (syndrome X). The metabolic abnormalities associated with metabolic syndrome are thought to cause accumulation of abdominal adipose tissue, which significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Therefore ironically, those consuming low fat alternatives in order to lose weight and improve healthy may be following a behaviour that is having the opposite effect. In addition, artificial sweeteners are also increasingly being added to low fat foods in order to further increase taste to the consumer. However, evidence suggests that consumption of such artificial sweeteners may actually cause weight gain over the long-term.


About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
This entry was posted in Abdominal Obesity, Aspartame, Cardiovascular Disease, Fructose, Insulin Resistance, Leptin, Metabolic Syndrome, Sucralose, Sucrose, Xylitol and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.