Trans Fat Labeling
           Now Required

  As of January 2006, the FDA required
all food manufacturers to have the
amount of trans fat listed on their
nutrition labels.

  Trans fats have been around since
the 1940's. It was then that scientists
discovered that by injecting hydrogen
into vegetable oil, the oil would partially
harden. This made food taste better
and last a lot longer. The result was
a more cost effective way to produce
food. Fast forward to 1990 and
scientists discover that this trans fat
is very bad for our health.

  Trans fats are responsible for increasing
cholesterol levels
, especially the LDL
or low density lipoproteins.

  High levels of LDL cause excessive
plaque buildup in the arteries which will
result in decreased blood flow to the heart.  

Trans Fats

Trans Fats -

Trans Fats - How
        are they Used ?

Trans Fats  - Oil

Trans Fats
      and Your Health



  Trans fat also decreases the amount of HDL or high density proteins, which are responsible for taking excess cholesterol back to liver to be processed as a waste product.

  As you can see, having these two components of total cholesterol levels
out of normal range can put you at risk for a heart attack or stroke.
  As of January 2006, the FDA requires all food manufacturers to have the amount of trans fat listed on their nutrition labels. If you take a look at the labels of your favorite processed foods, you should be able to spot the amount of trans fat listed between the saturated fats and cholesterol. It is recommended that you stay away from trans fat altogether. A lot of food manufacturers are taking the trans fat out of their products to promote a healthier lifestyle.

  But is the trans fat labeling correct? Here is an interesting point. When you look at a nutrition label and it lists 0 grams of trans fat, make sure you read the ingredients also.

  If you see anything listed as partially hydrogenated oil, the product contains trans fat. Partially hydrogenated oil of any variety is another name for trans fat.

  How are they getting away with this? Some companies will tell that they are not required to list trans fat if the product contains less than 1/2 % trans fat. But think about this. They are listing the percents by serving size. Their serving sizes are definitely not what the typical American considers a serving size. Try feeding a teenage boy the recommended serving size of macaroni and cheese and you will have one very hungry boy on your hands.


   So if there is 1/2% trans fat in a serving and you eat what would be considered two servings, you have just consumed 1% trans fat. The American Heart Association recommends limiting trans fat consumption to 1 percent of your total calories per day. You have already reached your limit of trans fat for the day in one dish.

  Be a detective and read the nutrition label and all of the ingredients. If your favorite brand contains trans fat, switch to another. Write the company and let them know that you switched and why. Educate your friends and family about trans fat labeling. Do it for your health and the health of your family.
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