Confused about cooking

I’ve been perusing cookbooks and magazines for some new recipes to try and I’ve noticed something: most “healthy” recipes call for “light”, “fat free”, or “low fat” products. Cheese, sauces, soups, broth…it seems that if you want to make something healthy you have to use “light” ingredients.

But then I see things like this:

Sorry for the bad word!

…and I’m confused. The “light” and “free” products are lower in calories, but a lot of time they are higher in salt or sugar. So when one is trying to lose weight, what is the best way to go?

Yes, I get it that ultimately, it’s best to use whole, fresh ingredients, but sometimes I want melted cheese!! So do I go with the full fat stuff or the light/free type? I’m curious to see what you have to say!

Hey, I know! Let’s do a poll!! I haven’t done one of those in a long time.

I look forward to your answers!! Feel free to expand on this in the comments below – tell me WHY you like/don’t like full fat/ light versions of things.

11 thoughts on “Confused about cooking

  1. I use full fat, regular food when I cook, because I agree with the “chemical sh*t storm” theory…but most of the time, I eat pretty lean, so when I do have, say, cheese, I don’t worry too much about it. Plus, I still try to keep it to a sane portion.

  2. It depends. You know I love the WalMart low and non fat cottage cheese. I recently changed to the nonfat Fage to decrease my calories a bit. But for real cheese, I usually don’t go low fat. Mostly because there aren’t that many choices, but also because I’ve heard they just don’t work as well. That said, I just don’t use cheese that much when I’m trying to lose weight. Because it does have a lot of calories.

    My brain can’t think of any other lite/low fat stuff. Oh. I love Thomas’s English muffins Whole grain 100 cal muffins. I love them better than the full fat version.

  3. I usually go with traditionally “normal” versions of items like mayo, salad dressing, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. Fat-free of those items are horrible, imo. Oddly enough, though, I prefer FF milk. My biggest challenge is sugar.

  4. If you eat normal ful fat cheese etc. but from time to time, it should not make a difference in fat but I`m sure it makes difference in health-in my opinion it`s better to have something with more fat but without additional chemicals. And maybe there`s “between” there? no low-fat or ful fat products, just something in the middle? with average amount of fat? And the most important thing is to be aware of the fact that low fat or no fat products are not so healthy -as you said they contain lots of sugar, salt or chemicals…

  5. I never eat fake sugar, both because it tastes horrible and because I believe it is bad for you (they told me not to have it when I was pregnant) and that studies show it makes you put on weight anyway… but I have started having low fat milk in my tea where I don’t notice anyway. That’s still real milk, right, just with more cream taken out? I actually have no idea. I eat full-fat cheese because I love it. Too much of it. I’m not losing any weight, so who on earth wants my opinion anyway?

  6. Well, I will normally use the low-fat or fat free types. Like yogurt, or cottage cheese, or sour cream. When it comes to melted cheese, though, those tend to melt like plastic, so I save that for my cheat-day (because otherwise it’s so unsatisfying that it’s all I can think about!) I avoid things like mayo because I simply don’t need it, and whatnot. My problem is the butter spray, but I’m working on that! 🙂 I do use Splenda (because stevia tastes awful to me) but I only use it in specific things. The more natural I eat, the less of the chemical versions of stuff I have to reach for because the food doesn’t call for it.

    If you are strictly tracking calories, rather than foods, then honestly I would just go with the full fat or low fat versions that aren’t higher in chemicals (like the milk, that’s just separating the fat, no biggie, so we go with skim.) Normal state of food, and all that!

  7. Oh I am constantly trying to determine if i want to go with low fat/calorie and take a chance on strange ingredients that make it that way, or pick real and whole foods preventing consuming weird things but perhaps hindering my weight loss, because i know losing weight is HEALTHY but i know eating HEALTHY is HEALTHY too…it is a constant battle in my head

  8. I usually go with the regular stuff. A middle school teacher once told me he doesn’t eat anything he can’t pronounce. To this day I haven’t forgotten it. Some of the ingredients in the lighter versions are scary. Remember Olean? It came with a warning on the package: “may cause anal leakage.” No thanks.

  9. Happy Tuesday to you! When in doubt-Bragg’s Amino spray with dash of chipotle.
    Just read through the post here on your blog and love the freshness of it. You have a fun and witty writing style too! Keep up the good work and when you get a chance, come visit my take on how to stay healthy during the media tombed ‘flu pandemic of 2013’. Cheers to your health and success!
    Ciao ciao for now~
    @Cherelynn on Twitter

  10. I mostly use full-fat versions, except for certain things / brands. I find Cracker Barrel 2% cheddar cheese to be just as flavorful and “melty” as full-fat, so I will use that a lot. I also don’t mind Friendship reduced fat sour cream. And we also drink 1% milk. But I use full-fat mayo, and I when I use butter, I use the real thing.

    But, when I do use the full fat stuff, I tend to use less, so I think it all works out in the end!

  11. I guess I stick with full fat for stuff like oils and nut butters but go light (2%) for greek yogurt and cheese. I used to buy the fat free cheese – what was I putting in my body?! Blech. Skim milk is all I’ll use re milk and I need the real thing for chocolate and sweets.

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