We all think that consuming sugar-free or fat-free products will help us in weight loss, but every such product has its pros and cons. Shivani Bavalekar, Sr Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, helps us understand.

When we say sugar-free, it means excluding sugar from the diet, which technically is not possible. People end up substituting sugar with artificial sugar or saccharin. But it should be kept in mind that over-consuming sugar-free products is almost equivalent to eating sugar-filled products and not entirely healthier.

Many sugar-free products contain artificial sugar along with hidden sugar, which gives you the same amount of calories as normal sugar. Also, sometimes the products have other additives to enhance flavours.

The right way to lose weight and stay healthy is to eat a well-balanced diet that consists of lean protein, fibre-rich carbohydrates, healthy fats and regular exercise.

Cutting down sugar is nothing but cutting down empty calories. Hence, doing this will help you in weight loss but you also have to observe portion sizes of overall meals and foods that you are consuming.

There are also many fat-free products available in the market, but these types of products are loaded with starches, extra sodium and added sugar, which will not help you lose weight. When it comes to health, it is more important to focus on the type of fat and the quantity of fat you are consuming.

If you make an effort to reduce fat intake, you might lose weight, but this will include restricting carbohydrates too. The solution to keeping this weight off is to limit the consumption of visible fat in your diet.

Fat-free diets mostly eliminate fats drastically and this interferes with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, K in the body and might affect our bone health, eyes and skin health.

Whether it’s sugar-free or fat-free products, what matters more is portion size, the nutritive value of the particular foods and the type of food you consume.