A Muffin Makeover: Dispelling the Low-Fat-Is-Healthy Myth

1 min read

The FINANCIAL — Dozens of studies, many from Harvard School of Public Health researchers, have shown that low-fat diets are no better for health than moderate- or high-fat diets—and for many people, may be worse, according to Harvard School.

 

To combat this “low fat is best” myth, nutrition experts at HSPH and chefs and registered dietitians at The Culinary Institute of America have developed five new muffin recipes that incorporate healthy fats and whole grains, and use a lighter hand on the salt and sugar. Their goal? To “make over” the ubiquitous low-fat muffin, touted as a “better-for-you” choice when in fact low-fat muffins often have reduced amounts of heart-healthy fats, such as liquid plant oils, but boast plenty of harmful carbohydrates in the form of white flour and sugar.

Other low-fat processed foods are not much better, and are often higher in sugar, carbohydrates, or salt than their full-fat counterparts. For good health, type of fat matters more than amount. Diets high in heavily processed carbohydrates can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

 

A regular blueberry muffin from a national coffee shop chain has 450 calories on average and most of those calories come from carbohydrates, primarily white flour and sugar. However, now that national chains have eliminated trans fats, a regular muffin does have heart-healthy fat, usually from soybean or canola oil. A low-fat muffin has about the same amount of calories, but contains more carbohydrates and sugar—and about 60% more sodium—than a regular muffin.

See also  Gravity-defying spike waves rewrite the rule book

The new Blueberry Muffin recipe offered by HSPH and the CIA is less than half the size of a coffee shop muffin and contains just 130 calories. It is made with a mixture of whole wheat, white, and almond flour and uses canola oil, a healthy fat.

 

 

Leave a Reply