Low fat options may not be as healthy as they seem, with lighter options having a higher sugar content and same number of calories as the standard option.
The consumer champion found that 6 in 10 people reported to opt for the lower fat option, believing it was the healthier choice.
Which? looked at low-fat, reduced-fat and light products from across all supermarkets, and compared them with their standard full-fat counterparts, looking at total calories and fat, sugar, and salt content.
They also monitored over 1,000 UK residents consumption of low and reduced fat foods.
They found that often people ended up eating more when they were chosing low fat products as they were under the illusion what they were consuming was healthier.
For example, a standard McVitie’s chocolate digestive contained 85 calories; a light one had 77, and the 8 calorie ‘saving’ could be burned off in less than a minute of swimming or running.
The lighter biscuit also contains an extra gram of sugar per 100g.
The survey showed as a result, people actually ate more calories when eating low-fat products than when they ate normally.
"Consumers are choosing 'low-fat' and 'light' options believing them to be a healthier choice, but our research has found that in many cases they're just not living up to their healthy image,” explained Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?
He added, “Our advice to consumers is to read the nutritional labels carefully."
Do you grab the low fat option without reading the nutritional info?