Why LOW FAT is actually worse: Muesli compared

I went looking for muesli this weekend whilst shopping. I am a label reader at the best of times, because I know how much hidden rubbish is in food, specially sugar and salt, and I haven’t got used to all the brands here yet. What I found was surprising. 

This actually caused a heated discussion in the isles with my hubby over food labels too!

You would EXPECT a low fat muesli to be better for you, right? Well, look at these two pictures. At this point you may also be interested in reading my blog that covers the Nigel Latta programme where he too was looking at the sugar in our food.

Look at these two labels. Here is the content summary that I focussed on:

regular Low fat
Fat 6.4g 4.1g
Saturated fat 1.4g 1.1g
carbohydrate 29.7g 32g
  of which are sugars 8.1g 14.8g

Yes, the low fat one was lower in fat, but look at the difference in sugar content.

The technicalities

The body needs fat, in order to metabolise certain vitamins and minerals, as well as help the organs to function. We also use it as as low release fuel.

Sugar is a form of carbohydrate, high GI, absorbed quickly. It makes up up to 50% of the western diet, and is something we often eat in excess. When this is the case, the body stores the sugar as fat, and this is why it is usually associated with weight problems.

if you compare the energy available in sugars (simple carbohdrate) with fats, you will see why I am raising this part of the contents label as an issue.

Energy available / g in Kcal
FAT Meat and eggsdairy

Vegetable foods



CARBSugarsVegetable foods




There is considerably less energy in simple carbohydrates are there are in fats.

Therefore, in the example of the muesli above: normally you would think the low fat option was best? No. I put it back and bought the regular muesli.

Be careful, read your labels. The low fat options that you think are healthy are not always what they seem.


Sports Nutrition by Jeukendrup and Gleeson

One Comment on “Why LOW FAT is actually worse: Muesli compared

  1. Pingback: Misusing Marketing: The Anti-Healthy Food Campaign | DDJ Marketing Watch

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: