No more trans fats? Look again

Since January 1, 2006, the U.S. government has required all food manufacturers to indicate the amount of trans fats contained in their food products on all labels.

by Dr. Sonny Sampedro — 

Today, many people have become aware of the dangers of trans fatty acids, otherwise known as “partially hydrogenated oils.” There is clear documentation that trans fats raise total cholesterol, LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and triglycerides.

Trans-fatty acids also lower HDL, the “good cholesterol,” stiffen arteries, suppress the immune system, promote insulin resistance by damaging insulin receptor sites on cells, and inhibit the metabolism of essential fatty acids, which then promotes inflammation in our bodies.

These unhealthy traits should be of greater concern than our intake of saturated fat. Dr. Udo Erasmus, one of the world’s leading authorities on fats and oils, states that “our annual consumption of trans fats is almost twice as much as our intake of all the (other) unnatural food additives put together.”

Since January 1, 2006, the U.S. government has required all food manufacturers to indicate the amount of trans fats contained in their food products on all labels. According to Judith Shaw, her research revealed that the government and manufacturers compromised by allowing products containing fewer than 500 milligrams of partially hydrogenated oils per serving to bear labels reading “zero” trans fats. Historically, we were taught that zero equals zero (not that 499 equals zero); however, this mathematic principle apparently does not apply to food manufacturers.

To know if a food product you are about to purchase and consume truly has a “zero” trans fat content, you must read through the entire list of ingredients. A listing of partially hydrogenated oil would indicate that the item contains trans fat.

Certain products state they contain a “trivial amount” of trans fat. But trivial by whose definition? The fact is that realistically, it cannot be “zero.” Considering all the negative effects of trans fats, we would do our bodies well to avoid all consumption of any amount of partially hydrogenated oils.

References:

Erasmus, Ph.D., Udo. Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill. Alive Books. 1993.

Shaw, MA, Judith. Trans Fats: The Hidden Killer in Our Food. Pocket Books. 2004.

 

Dr. Sonny Sampedro is a chiropractic physician at The Relief Source Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Mesa, Ariz., who also lectures on the topics of health and nutrition. 480-345-1964.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 6, December 2007/January 2008.

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