Less Salt And Sugar May Not Equal Healthy

May mean more saturated fats

They’re trying, but food processors may not be succeeding at making their products healthier, despite reducing salt and sugar content, as well as removing artificial colours and additives. A report from the U.S. Agriculture Department has found that with the reduction in salt and sugar there’s been an increase in saturated fats, which raise blood cholesterol. Experts say this points to the difficulty of reformulating packaged foods while trying to maintain price and taste. USDA economists examined the nutritional content of thousands of new and revamped food products that entered the marketplace between 2008 and 2012 and compared them with existing products. They focused on breakfast cereals, yogurts, snacks and frozen and refrigerated meals – the bulk of packaged food sales. The trends were clear. Sugar content lower or the same across all categories. Salt content fell in all categories except frozen meals, where it’s up slightly. Saturated fat,  they found, has increased a significant amount in cereals, yogurts, snacks and frozen meals. Food industry insiders are not surprised noting sugar, fat and salt are critical components of most packaged foods, so reducing sodium and sugar in a product almost inevitably leads to a higher fat content. The best way to develop a nutritious product, says food consultant PTM, is to focus on using fewer ingredients and moderate amounts of salt, sugar and fat. “Otherwise, at the end of the day, you’re just exchanging one bad ingredient for another.”