Let us create a 3D eBook for you!
Let us create a 3d Digital eBook for you! DigyCat.com

Focus on Trans Fat


There's no doubt--carbohydrates have taken center stage in public discourse about dietary practices. You can't turn on the TV, open a newspaper or walk past the office water cooler these days without hearing a debate about this nutrient du jour. Recently, however, increasing attention is being given to an all but forgotten part of our diet. Move over, carbohydrates: fat is making a comeback in the headlines. More specifically, trans fat.

Of the four types of dietary fat (monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, saturated and trans), the focus recently has been on trans fat. Abundant in margarine, shortening, packaged baked goods and French fries to name a few, trans fat is a widely used ingredient for food manufacturers because it is cheap and contributes to increased shelf life. It is listed as "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil" and "vegetable shortening" on product ingredient lists.

Hydrogenation is the process of heating an oil and passing hydrogen bubbles through it. The fat's density is increased, and food manufacturers use it frequently because it gives products a richer butter flavor. Saturated butter is much more expensive to use, so manufacturers reduce costs by using partially hydrogenated oils.

Partially hydrogenated oils, however, have a much different effect on the body than even the demonized saturated fats. We all know that we need to limit saturated fat in our diets, but specific amounts, although small, have been deemed acceptable, and even help to facilitate a variety of processes for the body. Trans fat, however, provides no positive effects whatsoever.

Studies have consistently shown that trans fat raises LDL (bad) cholesterol and lowers HDL (good) cholesterol. It contributes to clogging of the arteries and type 2 diabetes. Trans fat has also been linked to an estimated 30,000 or more premature heart disease deaths each year.

In March 2004, the Food and Drug Administration updated their website pages concerning trans fat and regulations concerning labeling laws. Although the FDA first proposed trans fat labeling in 1999, it wasn't until July 2003 that Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson announced the new trans fat ruling. Even then, the guidelines proved to be less than acceptable to health experts who were pushing for immediate regulations: the ruling gave manufacturers until January 1, 2006 to comply.

Some food manufacturers, however, have already started listing the ingredient on their nutritional labels, and the FDA has responded to these changes for consumers with trans fat info and guidance to understanding the new labels. See the FDA website at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/transfat.html#unhide).

Issues of further contention exist, most notably because the FDA is choosing not to list a % Daily Value (%DV) for trans fat. Although it admits that scientific reports show a link between trans fat and coronary heart disease, the FDA states that none of these studies have provided a specific reference value. This has enraged anti-trans fat advocates, who consider the decision not to list daily values a cop-out due to pressure from the food industry, not to insufficient evidence of harm (check out http://bantransfats.com/ for a comprehensive and excellent review of the latest trans fat advocacy issues).

Unlike the FDA's specific daily requirements for both saturated fat and cholesterol already in place, some experts feel this lack of specificity for trans fat allotment in our diet is akin to allowing the consumer to believe that any amount is acceptable. Thus, the possibility of a veritable free-for-all on trans fat consumption is feared.

The race is now on for food manufacturers to produce foods free of trans fat

In April 2004, Kraft Foods announced the introduction of three new brands of the popular Oreo cookie containing zero grams of trans fat. Other manufactures will surely follow suit and it is likely that we will be seeing an explosion of trans fat-free (although not necessarily nutritious) products, particularly snack foods.

Since we have a while to wait until all manufacturers are required to change their product labels, consumers need to know how to recognize trans fat in products to reduce intake. Read every ingredient label before a product is purchased. If the list contains the words "partially hydrogenated," you know it contains trans fat. Shortening and margarine almost always contain trans fat. This knowledge is particularly important with regard to processed foods, since they usually contain a large amount of ingredients, most with long, odd looking and hard to pronounce names. For further guidance on how to avoid trans fat in products, check out Dr. Gabe Mirkin's website (http://www.drmirkin.com/nutrition/N185.html), an excellent resource on nutrition and trans fat info.

Conflicting as it may be, we'll always be inundated with media attention on the latest focus on nutrition. But we still need to be aware of the facts concerning our health. Coverage on fats was all the rage in the 80's, for the last decade all we've heard about is carbs. What's next? Well, there's always protein.

About The Author

Jon Gestl, CSCS, is a Chicago personal trainer and fitness instructor who specializes in helping people get in shape in the privacy and convenience of their home or office. He is a United States National Aerobic Champion silver and bronze medalist and world-ranked sportaerobic competitor. He can be contacted through his website at http://www.jongestl.com.

jongestl@jongestl.com


MORE RESOURCES:

Nutrition - Google News

This RSS feed URL is deprecated

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Nutrition Training for People with Disabilities and Their Families Set for Jan. 25 - Southern Miss Now


Nutrition Training for People with Disabilities and Their Families Set for Jan. 25
Southern Miss Now
The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies will host free nutrition training for people with disabilities and their families in the Hattiesburg area on Thursday, Jan. 25. The training will be held from 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. at ...

B. Braun to Showcase Comprehensive Parenteral Nutrition Program, New Compounder and More at ASPEN - GlobeNewswire (press release)


B. Braun to Showcase Comprehensive Parenteral Nutrition Program, New Compounder and More at ASPEN
GlobeNewswire (press release)
BETHLEHEM, Pa., Jan. 18, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With a keen focus on meeting patient and customer needs, B. Braun Medical Inc., a leader in customized parenteral nutrition, will feature the latest services and technology in its robust parenteral ...

and more »

OCO Nutrition Services Partners with Subaru To Benefit Meals on Wheels - Oswego Daily News


OCO Nutrition Services Partners with Subaru To Benefit Meals on Wheels
Oswego Daily News
As part of Share the Love OCO Nutrition Services held a number of activities and events at its dining and activity centers and beyond, including a Senior Giving Tree at Kinney Drug in Mexico, food drives, delivering Blizzard Bags and making holiday ...

Dog Dietician: Retired Yakima vet finds calling with dog nutrition - Yakima Herald-Republic


Yakima Herald-Republic

Dog Dietician: Retired Yakima vet finds calling with dog nutrition
Yakima Herald-Republic
Genetics and proper training play a key role in developing those traits, but Laughery, a retired veterinarian, has found nutrition for dogs often gets overlooked. “It has been a passion and in veterinary practice there are many problems that cannot be ...

Ann Grandjean, a pioneer in nutrition, spent years advising and rooting for Husker athletes - Lincoln Journal Star


Lincoln Journal Star

Ann Grandjean, a pioneer in nutrition, spent years advising and rooting for Husker athletes
Lincoln Journal Star
Ann Grandjean, a pioneering figure in the world of nutrition, has died. Grandjean was the founding director of the International Center for Sports Nutrition and director of the Center for Human Nutrition — both on the University of Nebraska Medical ...

Nutrition, not just for weight loss - Petoskey News-Review


Petoskey News-Review

Nutrition, not just for weight loss
Petoskey News-Review
A Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad at McDonald's contains 350 calories, not including dressing. If the salad is coupled with a small McCafe Caramel Macchiato, you add 260 calories. So, while the two fast food options of a burger or a salad are only 190 ...

ADM Animal Nutrition expands team of research and sales professionals - National Hog Farmer


ADM Animal Nutrition expands team of research and sales professionals
National Hog Farmer
ADM Animal Nutrition, a division of Archer Daniels Midland Company, is pleased to announce the addition of five new individuals to its growing team of experts. John Bowzer joins ADM Animal Nutrition as the lead research scientist in aquaculture. Bowzer ...

New faculty member targets research on maternal nutrition - AroundtheO


AroundtheO

New faculty member targets research on maternal nutrition
AroundtheO
Physiologist Elinor Sullivan wants to understand early childhood health through the lens of maternal health. Her research examines the influence of maternal nutrition and how other factors, such as the metabolic state of mothers during pregnancy ...

What's new in food and nutrition for 2018 - Seattle Times


Seattle Times

What's new in food and nutrition for 2018
Seattle Times
Vegetables have always been good for you, and there are very, very few paradigm shifts of the “everything you thought you knew about nutrition is wrong” sort. Very few. That said, here are six interesting shifts that may change how you shop and eat in ...

LargeFriends.com - the best dating site for plus-sized singles!
SuccessfulMatchCentral.com - the best dating site for plus-sized singles!

PreLaunchX

DietRight.biz Domain Is For Sale - $8,500 For Enquiries eMail Us

© www.DietRight.biz 2012

home | site map | links