Caution: "Light"

If the label says "light" on it, this does not necessarily mean fewer calories or better health qualities. The term "light" is not a legally defined and protected term. This is why it conceals a wide variety of product characteristics.

"Light" may mean:

  • Less sugar
  • Low in calories
  • Reduced calorie
  • Low in fat
  • Reduced fat
  • Decaffeinated
  • Non-alcoholic
  • Low in alcohol
  • Lightly salted
  • Easily digestible
  • Low C02 (in mineral water)
  • Low nicotine (for cigarettes)

Basically, the standing of "light" products is dubious. For us humans, food is all the more valuable when left in its natural state. "Light" products are almost always industrially processed foods, the value of which is therefore extremely doubtful.

Soft drinks

Diet Coke, for example, has fewer calories than normal Coke, but contains large amounts of sweeteners that can be detrimental to our health. It has still not been resolved whether sweetener does not increase insulin levels, thus promoting fat storage and inhibiting fat breakdown. In any case, sweeteners promote an addiction to sweet foods and prevent the appreciation of a natural sweet taste.

Dairy products

In dairy products, "light" generally means "less fat." According to food law, "light" cheese may contain a maximum of 32.5 percent fat, "light" curd cheese 12.5 percent fat and "light" yogurt a maximum of 1.8 percent fat. Some products are labeled with a reduced fat content. This classification is only laid down by law for dairy products: Foods are reduced in fat if they contain 40 percent less fat than comparable products. However, this does not mean that they are really low-fat foods.

Only cheese and curd cheese -- that is, concentrated milk products -- really make sense with a "light" label, since the removal of water results in a high fat concentration, primarily from saturated fatty acids. Here you should choose cheese with a fat content between 30 and 50 percent, and for curd cheese rely on low-fat curd cheese with 12.5 percent fat. Cheese should also taste good, and fat content is largely responsible for this.

For milk and yogurt, on the other hand, with a natural fat content of 3.5 percent, opt for natural products. After all, what happens to 0.01 percent yogurt? After the yogurt becomes watery due to fat removal, the industry adds corn starch, emulsifiers and flavor enhancers to regain consistency and flavor. But cornstarch has a glycemic index of 110 and you already know what will happen! The insulin level rises with all its negative results. Now you have saved a few grams of fat, but your insulin level has shot up and stops your fat burning without you being aware of the sin. In vain will you find a reference to cornstarch on the packaging, because the there is no requirement to label so-called auxiliary substances, such as cornflour, until the amount reaches 5 percent.

Quark preparations that are foamed voluminously with air or nitrogen are also available on the market under "light". That looks like more now, but the calorie content per 100 grams has remained unchanged!

Butter or margarine

The question of "butter or margarine" also occupies a place in debate. Margarine was invented in 1867 as a butter substitute for the French army. At that time it was a fat spread made from beef tallow. Today margarine is made from oils, skim milk or water, emulsifiers, gelatin, flavorings and colorings. It contains about 80 percent fat and 20 percent water. Butter, on the other hand, consists of milk and cream. It contains 82 percent fat and about 18 percent water. There is therefore no major difference in fat and calorie content. However, butter is a natural product and margarine an artificial product. And then there is the question of taste. In other words: If you like butter and use it in moderation, there is no reason why butter should not be preferred as a natural food. The only recommended exception to be made for margarine is olive oil margarine.

What does "reduced calorie" mean?

Be very skeptical of the terms "low calorie" and "reduced calorie." Low-calorie foods may not contain more than 50 calories in 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of ready-to-eat foods and beverages. The maximum value of 20 calories per 100 milliliters (3.3 ounces) applies to soups and broths. In contrast, calorie-reduced foods must provide at least 40 percent fewer calories than comparable normal foods. Accordingly, reduced-calorie products represent fewer calories, but in the comparison to what?


Reject artificial, industrially processed products and rely on natural food. If you prepare your food fresh, you can be sure that you are eating a healthy diet.