Healthy Choices

Trans Fat Deception: What You Need to Know

Trans Fat Deception: What You Need to Know

Eating trans fats contributes to heart attacks and strokes, and the FDA finally proposed that eating them is a danger to public health. Here is what you need to know to protect your heath until the FDA tentative decision is finalized and trans fats are hopefully banned in the future.

Many products have nutrition facts that say “0 grams trans fat,” but actually contain trans fats in the form of partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs). This deception is only evident by reading the ingredients list.

Currently, the FDA allows products with less than .5 grams of trans fats per serving to round down and list zero grams on their label (nutrition facts)! This is very deceiving, especially since many serving sizes are very small and consumers end up eating more than one serving. Any consumption of trans fats may be harmful and small amounts at a time can add up.

The source of artificial* trans fats in most foods is partially hydrogenated oils, which the FDA proposed in November 2013 are no longer “generally recognized as safe (GRAS).” If this FDA proposal is approved, then it could lead to the FDA banning trans fats.

NuGo bars have never contained trans fats and never will. We support the FDA’s proposal that trans fats are not safe and believe strongly in ending all types of food deception!

How Trans Fats Impact Your Health

According to the FDA, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that a further reduction of trans fat in the food supply can prevent an additional 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year and up to 20,000 heart attacks each year.”

According the American Heart Association, “Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Eating trans fats increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. It’s also associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Acoording to WebMD, “Another study of nearly 20,000 women published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2008 reported that women with the highest blood levels of trans fat had twice the risk of breast cancer compared to women with the lowest levels.

How to Stop Eating Trans Fats

1. Avoid any product that has hydrogenated oils in the ingredients!

2. Avoid these foods that the FDA says contain trans fats:

• “crackers, cookies, cakes, frozen pies and other baked goods

• snack foods (such as microwave popcorn)

• frozen pizza

• vegetable shortenings and stick margarines

• coffee creamers

• refrigerated dough products (such as biscuits and cinnamon rolls)

• ready-to-use frostings”

3. Remember serving sizes are deceiving and you are likely eating more than one serving.

4. When eating out, ask what types of oils are used to prepare the food. Trans fats are often used in commercial fryers, especially fast food.

5. View the trans fat wall of shame compiled by CSPI on Pinterest. Keep in mind that some well-known foods that shamefully imply good mission statements contain trans fats, such as Girl Scout Cookies and Kellogg’s Special K protein bars.

6. Share your comments with the FDA during the public comment period, which ends on January 7, 2014. This CSPI web form makes it super easy to quickly show your support and/or send your own comments.

* Some trans fats occur naturally in certain dairy and meat products.

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