Fat-free, but still fattening

October 18, 1998|By Knight Ridder/Tribune

We're all counting fat grams and eating low-fat cookies. So how come we keep getting fatter?

Maybe because we're eating too many fat-free foods that still have plenty of calories - maybe even more calories, suggest surveys commissioned by the U.S. Agriculture Department.

Americans are getting a lower percentage of their calories from fat (34 percent, down from 40 percent five years ago), but we're eating more calories overall.

The problem is, too many people mistakenly believe that if they count fat grams, they can ignore calories. Wrong. Look at these comparisons:

* Fat-free fig cookie: 70 calories

* Regular fig cookie: 50 calories

* 1/2 cup premium nonfat ice cream: 190 calories

* 1/2 cup regular ice cream: 180 calories

* 2 tablespoons reduced-fat peanut butter: 190 calories

* 2 tablespoons regular peanut butter: 190 calories

Source: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Pub Date: 10/18/98

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