What are fat replacers?

Fat replacers are ingredients that manufacturers put in food to play the role of some of the fat in that food. These "replacers" can be made of carbohydrate, protein, or fat. The reason that fat replacers may be advantageous to your diet is the simple fact that fat contains 9 calories per gram of food, a very high energy content for a small amount of food. (Carbohydrate and protein have only 4 calories per gram.)

On the other hand, many fat replacers, particularly if they are carbohydrate- and protein-based, contain only 5 calories per gram of food. So, if you eat the same weight of food, you actually get half as many calories and might, therefore, lose weight. The problem is that many people assume that fat-free foods are so much lower in calories that they can eat larger servings of them. This is not the case; fat free does not mean calorie free.

Also, watch for fat replacers that are made of carbohydrate because they will have an effect on your blood glucose level.

Continue Learning about Fats

Top 5 Hidden Sat-Fat Traps
Top 5 Hidden Sat-Fat Traps
Think you’ve rid yourself of saturated fats? Even if you’re avoiding red meat, whole diary, gooey cheese, crunchy bacon, tropical oils, and creamy but...
Read More
Does dietary fat affect depression?
In a large 11-year study, cutting back on unhealthy fats -- like those in high-fat dairy -- and inst...
More Answers
The Best (and Worst) Fats for Your Body
The Best (and Worst) Fats for Your BodyThe Best (and Worst) Fats for Your BodyThe Best (and Worst) Fats for Your BodyThe Best (and Worst) Fats for Your Body
Protect your heart health—and much more—by choosing the right fatty foods.
Start Slideshow
Avoid These Bad Fats for a Better Mood
Avoid These Bad Fats for a Better Mood

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.