Is it better to eat sugar-free sweets and foods (which sometimes are high In fat), or to stick with low-fat or fat-free foods that contain sugar? I’m not on a low-carb diet.
Of course, best of all is to eat foods that are low in fat, low in sugar, and high in complex carbohydrates. A lot depends on what your goals are and the status of your health.
If you’re at your ideal body weight, have a cholesterol of 150, and 32 years old, then it probably doesn’t matter if you splurge once in a while with foods that are high in both fat and sugar. On the other hand, if you’re overweight with high cholesterol levels and trying to reverse coronary heart disease, then you’d be wise to limit your intake of both.
To some degree, your taste for sweet and fatty foods can be modified. The four basic tastes are sweet, sour, salty, and bitter; fat isn’t even included. Many people, for example, have switched from drinking whole milk to low-fat or skim milk. At first, the skim milk tastes like water, “blue milk,” and people often don’t like it. If they stay with it for a few weeks, then the milk begins to taste fine; when someone gives you whole milk, then you may find it tastes too rich, too greasy, too slimy — in other words, you now prefer the taste of low-fat or skim milk. The cow didn’t change, but your palate adapted.
The same is true for salt. If you decide to eat less salt in your diet, at first the food tastes too bland, like it needs more salt. After a few weeks, it tastes OK — and other foods begin to taste too salty.
For this reason, I tend to avoid sugar substitutes and fat substitutes. Whether or not these are harmful is an open question according to some experts, but what is clear is that these perpetuate a taste for foods that are high in fat and sugar. I love chocolate. Because my diet is usually very low in fat and sugar, then I find even a single piece of rich chocolate and be exquisitely satisfying because it tastes even richer to me than to someone who eats a lot of foods high in fat and sugar.