‘Lite’ food products are in great demand. These are marketed as better alternatives to the standard products. There are no fixed guidelines set by the government to categorize a product as lite. For example in the UK the product has to have at least 30 percent less fat / calories than the standard to be labeled as lite.
One needs to thoroughly read and compare the label with other standard products. Sometimes products on the shelf which are not termed as lite may actually be carrying fewer calories. For instance a biscuit like Britannia Nutri choice 5 grain may be high in fibre but contains high amounts of fat and sugar per serve as compared to the standard Marie biscuits commonly available. Its fibre benefits can be sabotaged by the high fat content.Low calorie chips
Though baked chips contain about 40 percent less fat than the standard chips, fried or baked, plain or multigrain, all kind of chips are extremely high in hidden saturated fats.The label “low fat” does not give us the liberty to eat them often. Even their frequent consumption could be as harmful as the standard variety. Ironically some of them are barely 1 or 2 grams lower than full fat versions.Baked foods
Most processed foods, store-bought cakes, biscuits, pizzas, burgers, fried snacks, khari biscuits are a storehouse of harmful trans fats. Trans fats (vanaspati) are cheaper and are added to increase the shelf life and give foods the desired texture. Food labels containing the jargon “hydrogenated oil” “partially hydrogenated” “shortened” contain trans fats. Trans fats increase cholesterol and risk to heart ailments.
They are also formed when oil is reused or subjected to high temperatures. Therefore the highly talked about baked foods (chaklis, mathris, snack items) locally available are the biggest misleaders. Baking subjects the fat to high temperatures and formation of trans fats.It is these low fat, baked verities which contain these worst fats. No food can be made crispy without the addition or spraying of fat. The fat is invisible. As it is not seen, it makes one believe that they are low on fat. The foods with invisible fats are full of bad fats. When fat is invisible we end up eating bigger sizes too.
Whereas in the homemade deep fried bhajiyas, chaklis or on the roti , though we do see the oil in the kadhai and on the food (visible fat) these are much healthier than food stuff bought from stores. Good oil is used at home. So it is best to make fried foods at home. Eating a fried snack once or twice a month in controlled portions would be absolutely acceptable as healthy. And since it is a long process to made fried snacks at home we would end up doing this rarely.
Baked foods like biscuits are usually bought and stored which makes us eat them daily. Also we cut down on our physical activities and do not exercise, thinking we are already consuming low fat foods.