Truth behind Trans Fats

Don’t be fooled into thinking there are no trans fats when there are.

Trans fats-Oils treated with hydrogen.

They are used because they are 1) inexpensive; and 2) they substantially extend the shelf life of a product.

It seems to be universally accepted that trans fats are bad news.  They strip years off people’s lives.

In the United States it’s estimated the upcoming ban on trans fats could prevent 7,000 deaths and 20,000 heart attacks each year.

(Note: The FDA announced they extended their trans fat comment period to March 8, 2014.  After which hopefully they will announce a timeframe when companies are legally expected to remove all trans fats from their products.)

But having said that, and until we see the fine print of the ban, here is something you should know about trans fat labelling.

The U.S. FDA currently does not require companies to label trans fats in food when the level is less than .5 grams per serving.

So when you see the label “No Trans Fats” that’s not necessarily the case.

Always check the ingredients.  Here are some of the most common ingredients names for trans fats: ‘shortening’, ‘hydrogenated fats’, ‘hydrogenated vegetable oils’ (HVOs) and ‘partially hydrogenated vegetable oils’ (PHVOs).

Less than .5 might seem like an insignificant level, but if you have multiple servings it adds up.

And as FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said recently….“There is no safe level of consumption of trans fat.”