Low Sugar, High Fat or High Fat, Low Sugar.. or neither?

My father-in-law was recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and my own father was diagnosed about 10 years ago. I know I’m sugar sensitive and at risk of developing diabetes, but for now I’ve been able to control my sugar through diet and exercise.

My wife had me try some sugar free cookies that her dad liked, since he can’t eat much sugar at all without getting sick, low sugar or sugar free is a must for him. The cookies taste great, but I was a little disappointed in the fat levels. Since my sugar is under control, I’d rather eat something low fat but maybe has a little sugar in it, like reduced fat Chips Ahoys, which are very good.

For example, the Murray’s Sugar Free Chocolate Chip cookies have a serving size of 3 cookies (32g). A serving is 150 calories which isn’t bad, but 20g of carbs (even with 0g sugar) and 9g of fat (14% of DV) and 3.5g sat fat (18%DV).

The reduced fat Chips Ahoys, while they do have 9g of sugar in a 31g serving, they only have 5g of fat (8%DV). Is that enough to make a huge difference? I’m not sure.

The other thing that caught my eye was two boxes of Pop-Tarts I bought lately, one of which happened to be the “Reduced Fat Strawberry”. I wanted to try them, but I’m not daft enough to think Reduced Fat Pop Tart = Healthy.

I was shocked with what I saw on the nutrition panel (and of course I didn’t look too hard until I got them home).

The second box was chocolate chip cookie dough. Which sounds healthier, strawberries or chocolate chip cookies? Depends on what your looking at.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:
200 Calories
5g fat (8% DV)
18g sugar
35g Carbs

Reduced Fat Strawberry:
190 Calories (only 10 less).
3g fat
21g sugar
40g Carbs

The low fat ones are higher in total carbs and sugars and don’t reduce the calories so I don’t think those are even really worth bothering with.

I guess it depends on what your health goals are, but for myself I think I should stick to the non-fat, low-fat even if it means a few more grams of sugar. And carbs are 4 calories per gram, fat is 9 calories per gram, so low fat will be much lower in calories.

What do you think?

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1 Comment

  1. The real question is, do you eat 1 Poptart or 2? Because the serving size is only 1. I can never eat only 1 Poptart and since eating both would be 400 calories I just don't bother with them at all. You can have sooo much food for 400 calories, I hate to waste them on Poptarts, lowfat or otherwise. But they are decent for when you just need something super quick and easy, if you can stick to just eating one.Have you ever tried Egg Beaters? I can't remember if you like omelets or not, but you can have a HUGE omelet with Egg Beaters, 2% cheese and all the veggies you could ever dream of for around 100-150 calories and its suprisingly filling. To make it super fast you can throw everything into a Ziploc Steamfresh bag and nuke it for 1-1:30 minutes if you are in a hurry.


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  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.