Problems with cooking/baking with reduced-fat/FF items

I was just reading the thread about cream cheese frosting help and got a thought/question. I know it's not preferable to use fat free, and sometimes reduced fat, items when cooking and baking. But why is this? Is it because these items are basically science experiments that deviate too far from the original food they are supposed to be? It's so confusing to me, because you'd think you're doing something better for yourself, but so often your results are disappointing either because of taste or texture.

Conversely, are there any 'healthier' substitutes with which you guys find consistently good results when using them to cook or bake? For instance, does somebody always feel confident with substituting Neufchatel or the like for full fat cream cheese or half-and-half use of applesauce and oil?

*As I'm new to this site, I didn't want to force people to rehash an old issue, so I did do some searching through previous posts to see if this topic had already been addressed. I didn't see one that seemed to fit the specific question I have.


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