Processed And Low-Fat Foods Are Typically Low In Calories – Is It True?

Last Updated on September 2, 2021 by Emma W. Thomas

Processed and low-fat foods typically have a lot fewer calories than other food options. This is a widely known fact that makes it easier for consumers to decide what they should be eating.

However, the number of calories in processed food varies from product to product.

Is this true? The answer really depends on the type of processed food that you are talking about. For example, if you ask people if burgers are healthy, people will usually say yes because they don’t have a lot of fat and cholesterol in them – but burgers can be high in calories because they’re made with beef patties and breadcrumbs which don’t have a high nutrient value. Some processed products also contain less desirable ingredients such as high amounts of sugar or higher amounts of refined carbohydrates that can significantly increase calorie intake without adding any significant amount of nutrients.

Processed And Low-Fat Foods Are Typically Low In Calories - Is It True?

Firstly, you should not be having processed food. If you have an option, you should always opt for freshly cooked food over any processed food. If you are out of options and can’t afford to consume fresh food only then you should think about consuming such processed food, readily available. Nevertheless, don’t throw caution to the winds and consume anything you find to satiate your hunger. 

Sugar is your enemy no 1. It’s a huge misconception that consuming low-fat processed food allows you to eat as much as you want, if not more. On the contrary, these types of processed food not only do a poor job at satisfying your hunger but are filled with sugar in its various forms, directly affecting your health. It also aids in weight gain.

Yeah, you may think, “I’ll just have the sugar-free version then”, even if that sounds like a smart choice in your head, it is absolutely not. If you opt for such sugar-free versions of these processed foods, you will just be trading like for like. Artificial sweeteners can be just as bad, if not even worse, for your health. 

Fats are not the enemy. Even though fats are dense in calories, fats are essential to our overall good health and help in optimizing our functionality. There are various types of fat. While some are bad, some are absolutely essential for us. 

Healthy fats such as Olive oil, coconut oil, fatty fish, avocadoes, nuts, etc., are extremely good for us. 

Why Should We Avoid Processed Foods? 

The following are mere facts of what may actually happen and the potential risks of consuming processed foods-

1. It’s Addictive

Have you ever craved a packet of chips or a pack of biscuits? Did you remember how satisfied you were after you consumed the entire packet? You couldn’t honestly stop, or could you, after just a couple of chips or biscuits? See! It’s extremely addictive. Processed foods, which we have come to love over the years, are designed to stimulate the dopamine centers of our brain, making us feel good. If you are having a bad day, binge eating a packet of your favorite cookies makes you feel much better. You become dependent, and resultantly you crave for more of them in the future.

2. It Lacks Nutritional Values

Have you ever noticed the nutritional label at the back of the packet of your favorite processed food? If you do, you will either see it has none, or it has added vitamins and minerals to add a pinch of nutritional value to them. Processing foods strip the natural nutritional values available to them in their raw state. 

3. Contains Too Much Sugar And Sodium

Even processed foods that are low-fat in nature contain extremely alarming amounts of sugar and/or sodium. These cause our beloved processed food to taste as good as it does but seriously affect our health over time. Consuming such processed food leads us to develop diseases like- obesity, high blood pressure, various heart diseases, and diabetes, to name a few.

4. Filled With Artificial Ingredients  

Most of the processed, if not all of them, use an alarming number of additives and artificial ingredients, including preservatives. These additive ingredients help give these kinds of processed food their signature colors, textures, flavors, etc., which we have come to like over the years. Surely these additive ingredients cannot be good for our health!   

5. It’s Quicker To Digest

You would normally ask, “why is that a bad thing”, because our bodies need half as many calories as we would require to digest processed foods. Processed foods are always much easier to digest than unprocessed, whole food. If you take into consideration that this processed food has emptier calories and also that it requires half the calories needed to digest unprocessed foods, we stay in a state of caloric surplus. It is directly aiding us in the process of gaining quite a few pounds. 

What Happens When We Have A Low-Fat Diet?  

 As mentioned above, processed food is irrelevant of the fact if it is low-fat or not is detrimental to your health. 

What About Low-Fat Foods? What If We Wish To Maintain A Low-Fat Diet? 

Too much of anything is not good for you. If you take too much fat into your diet, you will end up putting on quite a good amount of weight. Simultaneously, just consuming low-fat foods or maintaining a low-fat diet dieting, in essence, restricting yourself off fat-rich food is bad for you. 

Why? – You Ask. 

It is essential that you get the essential fatty acids obtained from fat-rich foods, or else you would see the following symptoms;

1. Dry, scaly, flaky, dull, or bumpy skin. 

2. Dry, brittle, or lackluster hair. 

3. Soft, frying, splitting, or brittle fingernails. 

4. Night blindness. 

5. Confusion and disorientation. 

6. Depression. 

7. Fatty food cravings. 

Ever since the world started believing that fat was bad for you, the demand for processed food has shot up many times. Resulting in a fatter and sicker society filled with health issues. Lately, all kinds of fat-rich healthy foods have been returned to the status of “Super-foods”. 

Here Is A List Of Incredibly Healthy And Nutritional Healthy Foods Rich In Fats.

AvocadosIt is rich in fats and calories, even then it has been found that people who consume avocados generally tend to weigh lighter and are overall fitter than people who don’t.
CheeseIt is rich in dairy fat and powerful fatty acids. It has all types of health benefits, including reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. A single slice of cheese has the same nutritional value as that of a glass of milk.
Dark Chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)It is extremely tasty, highly nutritious, filled with antioxidants, helps in improving cardiovascular health. More importantly, who doesn’t like treating themselves to a bit of dark chocolate?
Whole eggsIn spite of being high in fat and cholesterol, they are extremely healthy and filled with nutrients.
Fatty FishFishes like salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, etc., are rich in fat and are loaded with important nutrients. They have rich amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, which our body can’t produce on its own. Consuming fatty fishes improve health and reduce the risk of diseases.
NutsRich in healthy fats, proteins, vitamin E, and magnesium – Nuts are incredibly good for our health. 
Chia SeedsThough not considered a traditional fatty food, it is loaded with a high quantity of healthy fats, fibers, and minerals. It is very good for our health.
Extra Virgin Olive OilIt is easily the best oil suitable for consumption, which improves our overall health. Besides, this is incredibly effective at improving our cardiovascular health and has a lot of many powerful health benefits.
Coconuts and Coconut OilIt is very high in medium-chain fatty acids, helping in reducing appetite and results in increased fat-burning abilities. It provides innumerable health benefits.
Full-Fat YogurtBe cautious about choosing only the real ones, not the low fat and the ones loaded with sugar. They have the same nutrients as that of a high-fat dairy product loaded with pro-biotic bacteria.

List Of Low-Fat, Processed Food Extremely Bad For You;

1. Low-fat breakfast cereal – 29% of the total calories is sugar.  

2. Low-fat flavored coffee drink – 57% of total calories is consisting of sugar. 

3. Low-fat Flavored Yogurt – contains too much sugar to qualify as a healthy and nutritious choice. It almost contains 50 grams of sugar per 240 grams of serving. 

4. Low-fat Salad Dressing – Has no health benefits but contains sugar and preservatives. 

5. Reduced-fat peanut butter – Normally, peanut butter has only peanuts and salt, but reduced-fat peanut butter contains sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. 

6. Low-fat Muffin – 42 % of the total calorie is sugar and has a high glycemic index inducing hunger and overeating. 

7. Low-fat Frozen Yogurt – Has as much, if not more quantity of sugar as ice cream. 

8. Low-fat Cookies – they have a whopping 55% of their total calorie in the form of sugar. 

9. Low-fat Cereal Bars – High in sugar while being low in protein. 

10. Low-fat Sandwich Spread – It has high amounts of processed vegetable oil, often containing trans fats. 


The processed foods have been around since ancient times. However, they became more common after World War II. These food products include canned goods, frozen foods, packaged snacks, fast foods, convenience foods, ready-to-eat cereals, and others. They are usually low in calories but high in sodium content. Some people may find them convenient while some may not.

We hope that you are more aware of what you put in your mouth. We recommend indulging in whole food, which is rich in good fats for your better health. Every time you pick up a packet of processed, low-fat food, we assume you will check the label and remember our advice and put it down and go for something more nutritious and filling, even if it has fat. 

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