Remember that a calorie is always a calorie whether it comes from fat or carbohydrate. Reducing fat and saturated fat in your family's diet is important to maintaining heart health and reducing calories. However, fat-free or reduced-fat food choices aren't always low in calories. They can be high in sugar or other nutrients that increase calories.
Some reduced-fat or fat-free foods provide almost the same number of calories as the regular food. They are not the solution to weight loss. This is especially true if you think you can eat more of a reduced-fat food than you would eat of a regular item. For example:
It is important to limit fat and sugar in your family's diet. Fat has twice as many calories as protein or carbohydrate, so it's easy to see that reducing fat is important to energy balance.
Sugar is found naturally in some foods, like fructose in fruits or lactose in milk. However, sugar is added to many prepared foods and drinks like high-fructose corn syrup in sweetened beverages and breakfast cereals.
Health experts offer several reasons why it is important to cut back on the consumption of these products or cut out sugar from your diet in other ways:
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