When attempting to change our diet in order to control our diabetes, or just to lose a few pounds, we’re often tempted to buy the “diet” version of our favorite foods thinking we’re doing the right thing. Maybe we aren’t.

Eating real food instead of opting for diet versions is often a better bet.

Foods to Watch Out For

Fat-free dressing: You should be proud of yourself for making a salad filled with healthy greens, tomatoes, carrots and other veggies — until you dress it with fat-free dressing. Did you know that a salad like this is bursting with carotenoids, which help prevent heart disease and cancer, but you will not get any of those benefits if you use fat-free dressing? Carotenoids are fat soluble and, without the presence of fat your salad won’t do you much good. Choose a dressing with a base of olive oil instead.

Artificial sweeteners vs sugar: Artificial sweeteners are often more intensely sweet than regular sugar. This sets you up to crave the super-sweet taste and could cause you to eat more than you should. You may be better off limiting your sweets and eating real sugar or honey instead.

Light yogurt: Many people eat yogurt as a way to get their daily calcium, however, eating light yogurt means you’re getting as much as 50 percent less calcium due to the artificial sweeteners and fillers. Eat full fat plain yogurt and add real fruit to gain the most benefit.

Reduced-fat peanut butter: Yet again, the lower fat option is far less healthy than the full fat version. Low-fat peanut butter takes away some of the “good fats,” leaving you with artificial sweeteners and non-nutritive carbs as fillers. You don’t even save any calories!

Cereal, fruit spread and more: The list goes on and on. When food producers remove something like fat they often replace it with something that does nothing to promote health. Eat real food in quantities that fit within your food plan and you’ll be far better off.