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Guidelines on Overweight and Obesity: Electronic Textbook
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VI.A.1.c. Fat-Free Versus Regular—Calorie Comparison

A calorie is a calorie is a calorie whether it comes from fat or carbohydrate. Anything eaten in excess can lead to weight gain. You can lose weight by eating less calories and by increasing your physical activity. Reducing the amount of fat and saturated fat that you eat is one easy way to limit your overall calorie intake. However, eating fat free or reduced fat foods isn't always the answer to weight loss. This is especially true when you eat more of the reduced fat food than you would of the regular item. For example, if you eat twice as many fat free cookies, you will have actually increased your overall calorie intake. The following list of foods and their reduced fat varieties will show you that just because a product is fat free, it doesn't mean that it is "calorie free." And, calories do count!

Fat Free or Reduced Fat Regular
  Calories   Calories
Reduced fat peanut butter, 
2 tablespoons
187 Regular peanut butter, 
2 tablespoons
191
Cookies:   Cookies:  
Reduced fat chocolate chip cookies, 
3 cookies (30 g)
118
Regular chocolate chip cookies, 
3 cookies (30 g)
142
Fat free fig cookies, 
2 cookies (30 g)
102
Regular fig cookies, 
2 cookies (30 g)
111
Ice Cream:   Ice Cream:  
Nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt
(1% fat), ½ cup
100
Regular whole milk vanilla frozen yogurt (3-4% fat), ½ cup
104
Light vanilla ice cream (7% fat),
½ cup
111
Regular vanilla ice cream (11% fat), ½ cup
133
Fat free caramel topping, 
2T
103
Caramel topping, homemade with butter
2T
103
Lowfat granola cereal, 
approx. ½ cup (55 g)
213 Regular granola cereal, 
approx. ½ cup (55 g)
257
Lowfat blueberry muffin, 
1 small (2½ inch)
131 Regular blueberry muffin,
1 small (2½ inch)
138
Baked tortilla chips, 
1 oz.
113 Regular tortilla chips, 
1 oz.
143
Lowfat cereal bar, 
1 bar (1.3 oz.)
130 Regular cereal bar, 
1 bar (1.3 oz.)
140

Nutrient data taken from Nutrient Data System for Research, Version v4.02/30, Nutrition Coordinating Center, University of Minnesota.

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