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Foods that fool the body with low fat.

Nutritionists and food companies may have more success promoting healthy diets if they concentrate on reducing fat in specific foods. Unfortunately, ice cream isn't one of them.

People can judge the fat content of milk-based products much more easily than the fat in mixed foods, such as chicken salad, report Beverly J. Tepper and Susan E. Shaffer of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.I

Tepper and Shaffer tested the ability of 73 people to judge the richness of various foods. Each person visited the research lab twice weekly for two weeks. At each visit, participants tasted five versions of six common foods. The different versions looked and tasted the same but varied in fat content and texture. In one test, participants judged the relative fat contents of the different versions by comparing them to one another; in another test conducted on a different day, they estimated the fat content of each version separately,

In neither test could participants accurately fudge the fat content of scrambled eggs or chicken spread, Tepper says, but in both tests they succeeded in ranking mashed potatoes and pudding -- two milk-based foods. They also distinguished the relative richness of crunchy snacks fried in different oils.

"In some foods, people are going to notice the difference [in fat content], but in others, you can make relatively large changes without people noticing," Tepper concludes.
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Title Annotation:people can judge fat content of milk-based and oil-fried foods
Author:Pennisi, Elizabeth
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:May 8, 1993
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