Have you heard the news?
(Aside from MSU kicking butt at basketball that is….) I am talking about trans-fat. On November 7th the FDA went public with the possibility of trans fats becoming not GRAS (GRAS= “generally recognized as safe”). In other words, trans-fats would be an illegal food additive (unless the company can prove that they are not harmful) However, this decision is not yet finalized.
What is a Trans-Fat?
A trans fat is the product of adding hydrogen to vegetable oil to make it more solid. They contribute to an increased shelf-life and flavor stability of foods. They can raise your LDL (“bad cholesterol“) and decrease your HDL (“good cholesterol”) Trans fats have been associated with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
The current recommendations for trans fats is to be as low as possible, or under 1% of total calories per day. Something to take note of is the fact that is a food has less than 0.5g of trans fat it can be labeled Trans-Fat free. Think about it, if you have 4 “trans-fat-free” foods a day, you could actually be consuming about 2g of trans fat, rather than the 0 g that you think you are. This sneaky little fact can add up fast.
What does this mean for some of your grocery store favorites? Well, they could be facing some changes.
Here are some of the foods that are likely to be affected by the possible “banning” of trans-fats along with the current average trans-fat contents
- Microwave Popcorn: 4g
- Cookies and Crackers: 3.5g
- Refrigerated dough and pie crust: 2-3g
- Margarine: 2g
- Coffee Creamers: .1-.7g
Keep watching the headlines for updates on the status of this!