Trans Fat Guide And The Secret (Disgusting) Trick Approved By The FDA

Sprinkled Donut with Trans Fat

With all of the discussion about what to eat and what not to eat, it can be both confusing and frustrating to go grocery shopping. You want to provide healthy meals for your family without worrying if there are harmful ingredients that your food purchases contain.

Trans fats were first found and used as a preservative and also to pull out the flavors and to enhance the richness of the taste of the meal. Trans fats historically offered improved texture and consistency of food products which was a pleasing characteristic. Many restaurants used to serve food that was high in trans fat as it created more appeal to plating. Food manufacturers quickly got on board with incorporating trans fats into the foods they produced. Manufacturers that produced foods that were highly processed needed to have the ability to extend the shelf life of their product without furthering to decrease their profit margin and raise prices to the consumer. Adding trans fats to these products allowed them to be able to store food longer without affecting their bottom line revenue. Trans fats were added to a wide array of food products including but not limited to potato chips, ice cream, pizza, mashed potatoes, and even sweet treats.

What was not known at that time was that there are hidden dangers from having trans fats in foods. The health risk basically directly linked to trans fats is that when consumed, they cause our arteries to collect plaque on the artery walls. When this plaque collection increases, health concerns like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and the increased risk of heart attacks result. Surprisingly, trans fats can be found in pork, beef, and lamb in smaller amounts. Trans fats can be found in most full-fat dairy options.

Appearance on Labels

The Food and Drug Administration stepped in around 2006 and made it mandatory for companies manufacturing food items to identify the amounts of trans fats found in the product to be placed on the nutrition label. This was established to ensure consumers had an opportunity to evaluate what components are in the foods they are buying.

Consequently, shoppers became more aware of how unhealthy some products were and began letting their voice be heard through their purchases. Manufacturer’s needed to adjust their products in order to remain successful and keep on the bleeding edge of ever-changing trends. Shoppers became more informed and providing whole foods for families became much simpler.

It would seem that the products that have trans fats listed as zero would rank at the top of your purchasing list. Since trans fats have been identified as unhealthy and causing long term damage, people would naturally look to cut the trans fat down to nothing. Both saturated fats and trans fats increase the bad cholesterol in the human body. As the bad cholesterol increases, the likelihood of health problems increases as well. Saturated fats also increase the good cholesterol in the human body. However, unlike saturated fats, trans fats decrease the good cholesterol which inadvertently is the most likely cause of even more risks for serious health problems in the future.

Nutrition label stipulation approved by the FDA

CAUTION: Even if a nutrition label lists a food as have 0g trans fat, it may not be entirely safe. The FDA requires products containing 0.5g or more to be listed, while products with less than 0.5g of trans fat can simply list as 0g.

Be on the lookout for products with ‘partially hydrogenated oil’ or ‘hydrogenated oil’ as these products DO contain trans fat even if the label lists 0g.

How Much Is Too Much?

Overall calorie expectations range from person to person depending on their needs. Remember, highly-processed foods are some to stay away this can include bread, buns, crackers, and many kinds of cookies. Margarine and vegetable shortening usually contain trans fat and should be avoided. Mixes that are made in previously prepared including cake mix, cookie batter, brownie, pancake, and drinks should always make a limited appearance in your diet. Be aware of foods that are prepared with trans fat oils. Just a few examples include donuts, tortillas, fries, taco shells, and fried nuggets. The foods we tend to cheat with should be reviewed such as chips, candy, frozen dinners, and popcorn.

Selecting food choices that are whole food based with few to no additives are preferable options. These foods are usually listed as “home grown” or “organic”. Having too much of the wrong foods in your diet can cause long-term, irreversible damage to your overall heart health and should be avoided whenever possible. A long healthy life is something we all strive for and can be achieved with a solid healthy diet.