Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

The Sneak Attack of Trans- Fats


If you are like most people, you are probably confused about trans fats. What are they? Which foods have them? What is the health risk?

The truth is, trans fats are everywhere. They are lurking on the shelves in almost every aisle of our grocery stores. Just when you think that bag of microwave popcorn was a healthy choice for a snack... it might not be. Not because of the popcorn itself but because of what has been added to it.

So what are they? Trans fats are the result of a process called hydrogenation where they take relatively healthy oil and turn it into a solid form to help prolong the shelf life and freshness of the product. When these fats become solid, our bodies treat them more like saturated fats. Evidence shows that consumption of both saturated fat and trans fat can increase our LDL ("bad") cholesterol that increases the risk of coronary artery disease. There is also some evidence to support that trans fats may actually decrease our HDL ("good") cholesterol. Nearly 13 million Americans suffer from coronary artery disease and more than 500,000 die each year from causes related to coronary artery disease. Heart Disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States.

Unfortunately, trans fats have been a "hidden" fat for years. They are very popular in fast food chains because they are inexpensive to produce, easy to use, and they don't spatter. The reality is? it is in everything from crackers to breads to cereals and therefore, people who thought they were making good food choices may have been adding more fat to their diet than they anticipated.

Here are some samples of the surprise attack of trans fats:

1. Spreads. Margarine and shortening are loaded with trans fats. Stick margarine has 2.8 grams of trans fat per tablespoonShortening has 4.2 grams of trans fat per tablespoonTip: look for soft tub margarines that say "no trans fats" on the container

2. Soups. Ramen noodles and soup cups contain very high levels of trans fats

3. Cereals. Many cereals that would other wise be healthy choices contain the "hidden fats"

4. Crackers and popcorn

5. Many popular pancake and waffle mixes

The good news

Under new FDA regulations, by January 1, 2006, consumers will be able to find trans fat listed on nutrition labels under the line for saturated fat. You won't see a percent daily value because trans fats are not a natural food and we do not need them in our diet for any reason. The more you can limit your trans fat intake, the better. Manufacturers will start phasing in the new labels before that deadline.

More good news is that public awareness of trans fats has already initiated some companies to change their ways. Frito Lay has said that they will remove trans fats from Doritos, Cheetos, and Tostitos. McDonalds has reported that they will remove of the trans fats from their French fries. These foods will still fall into the "once in a while" category but removing trans fats will definitely help.

Until the new labels are available, the best way to know if your favorite foods have trans fats is to read the ingredients list. If you see the terms "Hydrogenated or Partially Hydrogenated oil" then it contains trans fats. You can also bet that any commercial baked goods including cakes, pies, and donuts will also be loaded with the "hidden fat".

Awareness is your best defense in limiting trans fats from your diet. Read your labels and make your choices wisely.

Meri Raffetto RD, 2004

About the Author

Owner of Real Living Nutrition Services, Meri Raffetto is a Registered Dietitian and a recognized professional in the area of nutrition and wellness. She has received a bachelor's degree in both nutrition and psychology and has extensive experience in nutrition counseling and medical nutrition therapy. She offers individual nutrition counseling and has developed one of the only non-diet weight management programs available on the internet. For more information or to sign up for Real Living's free nutrition newsletter, visit http://www.reallivingnutrition.com.


MORE RESOURCES:

New York Times

Bill Ackman Slams Herbalife's Nutrition Clubs: 'It's a Pyramid Scheme'
DailyFinance
NEW YORK -- Activist investor Bill Ackman fired his latest salvo at the weight loss and nutritional supplements company Herbalife (HLF) on Tuesday, alleging that one of the business models used by its distributors is evidence that the company operates ...
Ackman goes after Herbalife's nutrition clubsSalon
Ackman: Herbalife's Nutrition Club Is 'Total Fraud'Bloomberg

all 302 news articles »


Annual Minnesota Nutrition Conference scheduled
CattleNetwork.com
MNC is the upper Midwest's premier educational event for livestock industry professionals and nutrition consultants to update their knowledge of beef, dairy, poultry, swine and equine nutrition. The conference will recognize its 75th year with the ...
Annual Minnesota Nutrition Conference to Mark its 75th YearNational Hog Farmer

all 3 news articles »


Hunterdon Medical Center's Center for Nutrition and Diabetes Management ...
Hunterdon County Democrat
The Center for Nutrition and Diabetes Management in Flemington was awarded the American Diabetes Association Education Recognition Certificate for a quality diabetes self-management education program. The Association's Education Recognition ...



Nutrition implicated in research into positive mental health
Walla Walla Union-Bulletin
Proper nutrition is vital for mental and physical health. Not all people readily make the connection between proper nutrition and mental health as they do between nutrition and physical health. In recent years however, researchers have been working to ...



7 questions about wine and nutrition answered
The Times-Picayune
Q: Do biodynamic wines, organic wines, and wines made with organic grapes have more antioxidants and greater nutritional benefits than conventionally-made wines? Kimball: It's highly likely, especially since the soil in organic or biodynamic farms is ...



KETV Omaha

International Nutrition plant collapse caused by overloading storage bins ...
Omaha World-Herald
20 collapse of the International Nutrition plant in Omaha was caused by overloaded storage bins, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Monday. OSHA has proposed penalties of $120,560 and cited the company, a livestock feed ...
International Nutrition cited for safety, health violationsKETV Omaha
OSHA Releases Cause Of International Nutrition Building CollapseWOWT
OSHA Says Collapse Caused by Int'l Nutrition, Company DisagreesKMTV
FeedNavigator.com -KTIC
all 46 news articles »


AgriLife Today

Better Living for Texans program, others offer nutrition, food preparation classes
AgriLife Today
SAN ANTONIO – Low-income or limited-resource individuals and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, recipients in Bexar County can schedule free nutrition and food preparation classes within their communities, said a representative of the ...



'A magical thing': Excel Health & Wellness, a Herbalife nutrition club, opens ...
Auburn Citizen
Founded in 1980, Herbalife provides weight management, personal care, nutrition, energy and fitness products to independent distributors who sell products and run fitness clubs. With coaches based in 90 different countries, the company's wares are ...

and more »


USA TODAY

School nutrition group doubles $$ spent on lobbying
USA TODAY
The group, whose members include school nutrition officials and some food industry giants, spent more than $105,000 to press its case with Congress and the executive branch from April 1 to June 30, new lobbying reports show. That's up from $53,887 ...
Students eventually adapt to more nutritious school lunches, survey findsBoston Globe
Prices rise on school lunch lineRochester Democrat and Chronicle
Room for improvement in elementary school children's lunches and snacks from ...EurekAlert (press release)
East Valley Tribune -TIME -AG Week
all 34 news articles »


Hannaford ends live nutrition chats
Supermarket News
The online chats had been held for more than two years on Facebook. Hosted by Kris Lindsey, the retailer's online dietitian, the noon Wednesday chats focused on a variety of health and wellness topics. Instead of the live chats, Hannaford will post ...


Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.