Low-fat not always healthiest option

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So-called low fat foods can contain a similar number of calories as the standard versions – and might have more sugar, according to a study.

Which? found six out of 10 consumers eat low-fat and light foods several times a week thinking they are a healthier option.

But a “snapshot sample” of 12 low-fat, reduced and light products compared with their standard counterparts found some minimal differences in calorie content.

A standard McVitie’s chocolate digestive contained 85 calories and a light one had 77. The difference of eight calories could be burned off in less than a minute of swimming or running, it found.

A Tesco low-fat yoghurt had more calories per pot at 130 than a standard Activia version at 123.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: “Our advice to consumers is to read the nutritional labels carefully.”