People usually choose fat-free products like fat free cream cheese to help them lose weight. With all of the additives and fillers blended into fat free versions of cream cheese, this may be a counterproductive choice.
The problem with choosing fat-free products is that when something is labeled “fat-free,” we often assume that it’s also calorie-free. But this isn’t always the case. In fact, many fat-free products are loaded with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients in order to make up for the flavor that is lost when the fat is removed.
Chemical additives found in fat-free cream cheese can have a number of harmful effects on the body. Some of these additives include sweeteners, emulsifiers, and stabilizers.
Analyzing the ingredients in fat free cream cheese
Let’s take a look at the ingredients in a popular fat-free cream cheese brand:
Ingredients in Philadelphia Fat-Free Cream Cheese
- Skim Milk
- Whey protein concentrate
- contains less than 2% of:
- Sodium Phosphate (This is an ingredient not found in regular cream cheese)
- Sugar (This ingredient is not included in regular cream cheese.)
- Color (This ingredient is not present in regular cream cheese.)
- Xanthan Gum
- Pasteurized Milk and Cream (Trivial Source of Fat)
- Natural Flavor
Extra chemical ingredients in fat-free cream cheese that are not in most regular cream cheese
Let’s take a look at these extra ingredients that are used to replace the fat in fat-free cream cheese and see if they are worth it for our health and weight-loss efforts.
Sodium phosphate is a common food additive used in fat-free cream cheese because it helps keep the product smooth and creamy. It also gives the cheese a slightly salty flavor and increased density while also increasing the shelf life of the product.
Concerns about the health effects of sodium phosphate
Sodium phosphate can
- can raise blood pressure levels in some people.
- play a role in heart disease risk
- cause bloating and fluid retention.
- weight gain
- other problems associated with the above factors
Extra sugar- Any extra sugar in a fat-free product is not appreciated! Adding sugar to a product that is used by people trying to lose weight is counter-productive.
Artificial Color- The chemical color added to fat free cream cheese is bad for your health because it is a synthetic food dye that has been linked to cancer and other health problems.
Many synthetic food dyes are made from petroleum products and have been linked to cancer, allergic reactions, and other health problems. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any artificial food colors for use in foods marketed to children under the age of two, due to concerns about their safety.
All three of these ingredients should be avoided if weight loss is one’s goal. Instead, opt for products that contain only natural ingredients, which come without any negative side effects.
You can use regular cream cheese sparingly; it is a better choice than fat-free overall.
Other options to substitute fat-free cream cheese with are the following:
- Greek yogurt
- Silken tofu
- Cottage cheese
Choosing natural foods and not resorting to anything “fat-free” is your best bet for losing weight in a more healthy manner. Fat is not as bad as we thought, either. Sugar and chemicals are worse than fat, especially when someone is trying to lose weight.
The chemicals and fillers that food manufacturers add to fat free foods is alarming and counter-productive to the process of losing weight and improving health. Thus, we conclude that fat free products like fat free cream cheese are not your allies when trying to lose weight.
We wish you well on your continuing journey to optimum health.
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