What are the Different Types of Diet Foods?

Felicia Dye

Weight loss and weight control are two common concerns. One way that people try to achieve and maintain their goals in these areas is by eating diet foods. Many stores offer a wide range of selections for consumers who need such items. These include diet beverages, entrees, and sweeteners.

Lean chicken is low in fat and can be prepared in various ways to accommodate dieters.
Lean chicken is low in fat and can be prepared in various ways to accommodate dieters.

When a person is interested in diet foods, she is generally interested in two things. She wants her food to be low in fat and low in calories. It may seem that this would be very restrictive, but in many instances people who eat diet foods can eat similar to how they ate before they made the choice to change their eating habits.

Green tea is a calorie-free beverage.
Green tea is a calorie-free beverage.

Nutritional experts commonly claim that people drink a large portion of their calories every day. This problem can be solved with diet beverages. A person who chooses to drink these items may not have to drastically change what he likes to drink. There is a wide range of diet sodas available for those who like carbonated beverages. Diet juices and ice tea are also available.

Oranges and other citrus fruits are filling yet low-calorie snacks.
Oranges and other citrus fruits are filling yet low-calorie snacks.

If a person needs a snack, there are diet foods designed for between meal cravings. These come in many forms and varieties, including potato chips, snack bars, and candy. These items are often considered diet because effort has been put forth to reduce the amount of sugar and number of calories they contain.

Some protein bars feature sweeteners and a high fat-content which dieters should look out for.
Some protein bars feature sweeteners and a high fat-content which dieters should look out for.

Pre-made diet entrees can often be found for each meal. These diet foods are usually carefully portioned to help control the calories a person consumes during one meal. According to the claims of their producers, these entrees are usually prepared by healthier cooking methods than the average person uses. Substitutions are often made to reduce components such as sugar, saturated fat, and cholesterol. For example, a breakfast entree may replace pork sausage with a turkey or vegetable sausage patty.

Iced tea can be substituted for more caloric drinks.
Iced tea can be substituted for more caloric drinks.

Many of the diet entrees available are produced to complement well known diet programs, such as Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. Others are commonly named after or endorsed by reputable fitness professionals. In addition to entrees, some people may choose meal replacement shakes. These are liquid diet foods that are supposed to provide a person with necessary nutrients without requiring her to eat a meal.

Diet versions of sweeteners and condiments are also usually available. Instead of using sugar, people on diets may have a number of low calorie options to sweeten their beverages and baked goods. There are also many low-fat, low-calorie salad dressings and sauces for those who want them.

Reduced calorie chips can make an excellent snack.
Reduced calorie chips can make an excellent snack.

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Discussion Comments

Kat919

@MrsWinslow - Maybe eating "diet foods" is your problem! See, the problem is that these foods just aren't very satisfying. Light versions, diet entrees, and portion-control snack packs may not have enough protein and fiber (not to mention enough volume of food) to make you feel full.

I read a book called Volumetrics that talks about how to feel more full by eating foods that are larger per calorie, like chicken soup instead of chicken breast and pretty much all fruits and vegetables. For me, that was a good start, but I felt like the book didn't put enough emphasis on how fat, fiber, and protein make you feel full.

So an apple with a little peanut butter gets you all three. It is more nutritious and keeps your full much longer than low-in-protein diet foods. Try eating more whole foods (especially fruits and vegetables) and see if that helps!

MrsWinslow

There are so many more healthy diet foods out there than there used to be! I remember when Snackwell's cookies first came on the market, what a big deal that was to have low-calorie treats. Now all the brands seem to have those little hundred-calorie snack packs and lighter options.

The frozen diet dinners taste better than they used to, plus now they have desserts and treats, too.

Now, if I could just lose some weight... I'm so hungry that I can't seem to stop eating my light and low-cal versions!

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