Many so-called & # 39; low fat & # 39; Food alternatives can be loaded with sugar and contain only slightly fewer calories than standard versions, experts warn.
Medical experts have warned that consumers are wrongly given the impression of making good food choices by opting for healthier versions.
But MailOnline has products found that are marketed as & # 39; low in fat & # 39 ;, & # 39; light & # 39; and & # 39; less fat & # 39; can contain up to three times the amount of sugar.
The Yeo Valley Yogurt, for example, contains 82 calories, 5 grams of fat and 5 grams of sugar per 100 grams.
For comparison: the organic 0% fat vanilla yogurt of the brand contains 81 calories – only one less – and almost three times as much sugar (14 g).
& # 39; Low-fat & # 39; versions of foods such as yogurt and peanut butter – which are naturally fat – have often added extra sugar to maintain the taste of the product.
Yeo Valley & # 39; s Natural Yogurt (left) contains 82 calories, 5 g of fat and 5 g of sugar. The organic 0% Fat Vanilla Yogurt (right) has 81 calories – only one less – and almost three times the amount of sugar (14g)
Morrison's own brand of reduced peanut butter (right) contains twice as much sugar (2.2 g) as the standard version (left) and only 10 fewer calories per spoon (84)
London-based nutritionist Kim Pearson, a former weight loss expert on ITV's This Morning, food companies said they are aiming for health awareness.
She told MailOnline: & # 39; Many of us are increasingly aware of how our diet influences our health and try to make healthier choices whenever possible.
& # 39; Food companies are well aware of this and position products as apparently healthier options in attempts to boost sales.
& # 39; Unfortunately, the truth is that many of these & # 39; low-fat & # 39; and & # 39; light & # 39; options are not as good for us as we believe.
& # 39; I work with many people to support them in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and I never recommend food products with the label & # 39; low-fat & # 39;
& # 39; It's misleading and confusing for consumers trying to make healthier choices. & # 39;
She added: & # 39; Foods from which the fat has been removed often contain sugar and additives to ensure that the product is still tasty and has an attractive texture.
& # 39; But healthy fats are essential for health and we now know that a low-fat diet is not the best way to lose weight for most people.
Sainsbury & Raisin & Almond Granola contains 199 calories and 8.4 g of sugar. The & # 39; lighter & # 39; version has only 17 fewer calories (182) and more sugar (8.6 g)
MailOnline also found that Asda & # 39; s & # 39; low fat & # 39; Smooth Assorted Yogurts contain more calories and sugar than the standard French assortment yogurts.
The & # 39; low-fat & # 39; versions contain 126 calories and 18 grams of sugar per jar, compared to 113 calories and 13 grams of sugar in the standard products.
Morrisons' low fat peanut butter with its own brand contains twice as much sugar (2.2 g) as the standard version and only 10 fewer calories per spoon (84).
Sainsbury & # 39; s muesli products offered very little difference in sugar, fat and calorie content, despite claiming & # 39; lighter & # 39; to be.
The Raisin & Almond Granola from the supermarket contains 199 calories and 8.4 g of sugar per serving of 45 g.
The & # 39; lighter & # 39; version has only 17 fewer calories (182) and more sugar (8.6 g) than the standard product.
A standard Tesco & # 39; s Digestive Biscuits contains 80 calories, compared to 71 in the & # 39; reduced fat & # 39; version – a difference of only nine calories.
Each & # 39; less fat & # 39; cookie was also loaded with 3.3 g of sugar, compared to 2.4 g in the standard version.
In the labeling requirements, & # 39; is low in fat & # 39; defined as less than three percent fat.
Asda & # 39; s & # 39; low fat & # 39; smooth assorted yogurts (left) had more calories (126) than standard French assorted yogurts (113). The & # 39; low fat & # 39; versions also had 18 g of sugar, compared to 13 g in their standard counterparts (right)
A standard Tesco & # 39; s Digestive Biscuits contains 80 calories, compared to 71 in the & # 39; reduced fat & # 39; version – a difference of only nine calories
HOW MANY SUGAR IS TOO MUCH?
The amount of sugar that a person should eat per day depends on how old she is.
Children from four to six years old must be limited to a maximum of 19 g per day.
Seven to 10 year olds should not have more than 24 g and children 11 years and older should have 30 g or less.
Popular snacks contain a surprising amount of sugar and even one can of Coca-Cola (35 grams of sugar) or one stick of Mars (33 grams) contains more than the maximum amount of sugar that a child should have over an entire day.
A bowl of Frosties contains 24 g of sugar, which means that a 10-year-old who has Frosties for breakfast probably has reached his limit for the day before they even leave the house.
Children who eat too much sugar run the risk of damaging their teeth, attracting fat and becoming overweight and getting type 2 diabetes, which increases the risk of heart disease and cancer.
& # 39; Reduced fat & # 39; and & # 39; light & # 39; means that products must contain 30 percent less fat than the standard or original product.
More than 20 g of fat per 100 g makes a product rich in fat and more than 5 g of saturated fat per 100 g means that it is rich in saturated fat.
Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, called for crackdown on products that he believes create the illusion that they are healthy.
He said: & # 39; To prevent the food industry disguising what it puts into its products, thereby deliberately misleading its customers with health claims that are miles away from the truth, the government must now turn every producer that does that upside down .
& # 39; If this requires legislation, so be it. No food loaded with excessive amounts of sugar, fat or salt can be called healthy. And it is best to pass the law to prevent the practice from continuing. & # 39;
A spokesperson for Sainsbury said: & The nutritional value of products can vary for different reasons. That is why all our products are clearly labeled to help our customers make informed decisions about the products they buy.
& # 39; For example, our lighter granola has 30% less fat, which means it has fewer calories than our original recipe.
& # 39; The lighter recipe also contains more raisins and therefore natural sugar. Customers who want to lower their sugar content can also choose from our low-sugar granola. & # 39;
A Tesco spokesperson said: “We are doing everything we can to make our products healthier for consumers and continue to reformulate recipes throughout our range.
& # 39; Since 2015, we have removed more than 8,000 tonnes of sugar from more than 1,300 products.
& # 39; Our own brand products have clear traffic light labels so that customers can make informed choices about the items they put in their shopping cart. & # 39;
MailOnline has approached Yeo Valley and Morrisons for comment.
|STANDARD VERSIONS||LOW FAT VERSIONS|
|Yeo Valley Natural Yogurt (per 100g)||82||5g||5g||Yeo Valley Organic 0% Fat Vanilla Yogurt (per 100g)||81||14g||0g|
|Morrissons peanut butter (per 15g)||94||1.1g||7.8 g||Morrissons reduced fat peanut butter (per 15g)||84||2.2g||5.6 g|
|Sainsbury & # 39; s Raisin & Almond Granola (per 45g)||199||8.4 g||6.3 g||Sainsbury & # 39; s lighter Granola Raisin & Almond (per 45g)||182||8.6g||4.1|
|Tesco Digestive Biscuit (per cookie)||80||2.4g||3.8 g||Tesco reduced fat digestive cookie (per biscuit)||71||3.3g||2.3 g|
|Asda French Assorted Yoghurts (per pot)||113||13g||4.1g||Asda Low Fat Sweet Treat Assorted Yoghurts (per pot)||126||18g||2.5g|
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