Not necessarily lower in fat or calories, ‘lite’ foods can be lighter in flavour, colour or taste. Some are higher in calories than the original!
A ripe mango or capsicum on the label doesn’t mean it’s healthy; it may only make up five per cent of the flavour.
Look out for lollies, biscuits and chips bearing this badge. Fat is only one part of the macronutrient picture. They can still pack a punch in the fat, kilojoule, salt, sugar and colour stakes.
Palm and coconut oil may come from natural sources but they are high in saturated fat, while vegetable oils are not healthy if they have been hydrogenated (turning them into a trans fatty acid, which clogs the arteries).
This can indicate a white low-fibre food with a few grains sprinkled through. Look for wholemeal varieties instead.
‘No added sugar’
Sweeteners come in many non-sugar forms, which all elevate insulin levels. Watch out for dextrose, fructose, glucose, maltodextrin and corn syrup (which has been linked to diabetes in studies). Sugar-free foods may also have more kilojoules because they contain more fat.