Cream, half and half, fat free

Fun Facts

  1. It’s not often that one finds a perfect oxymoron, but it happened to me in a supermarket recently when I encountered a pint of “Fat-Free Half & Half.”
  2. Odd as fat-free half-and-half may seem, it’s far from unique. A search for the term “fat-free” in the grocery section on Amazon brings up 3,386 products; “low-fat” yields 3,597. That’s a vast array of food products in which no- or low-fat content is touted as a virtue. Many of them, like the pseudo half-and-half, compensate for the fat’s absence with extra sugar, corn syrup or other added sweeteners.
  3. From 1958 to 1970, nutrition researcher Ancel Keys surveyed populations in seven countries then published a study suggesting a strong correlation between diets high in saturated fat and increased risk of heart disease.
  4. No one’s health is improved by swapping out natural saturated or monounsaturated fats for skim milk, sugars or processed grains. So if you encounter misbegotten products such as fat-free half-and-half, do what I do — leave them on the shelf.

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