Trans Fat Content on labels
Though not listed on the label, this product contains trans fats. All products that contain vegetable oil, contain a small amount of trans fats. According to Susan Mayne, Director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, trans fats are found naturally in all animal foods but can also be found in fully and partially hydrogenated oils as well as other edible oils (Food and Drug Administration, 2015, para. 6). No vegetable oil is free of trans fat, even olive oil. Due to current labeling laws, most products that contain oil also contain trans fats, but this trans fat information is not listed on the nutrition facts panel. In this example the nutritional facts panel lists 0g trans fat per serving, however, this does not mean that the product is trans fat free.
This product is not recommended for patients with cardiovascular disease as there is currently no safe level of trans fat consumption.
According to the Institute of Medicine ([IOM], 2002), “the report doesn’t set maximum levels for saturated fat, cholesterol, or trans fatty acids, as increased risk exists at levels above zero, however the recommendation is to eat as little as possible while consuming a diet adequate in important other essential nutrients” (para. 8). According to the IOM (2002), “a UL (upper tolerable intake) is not set for trans fatty acids because any incremental increase in trans fatty acid intake increases CHD (coronary heart disease) risk” (p. 432). There is currently no upper limit set for trans fat as any trans fat consumption above zero increases the risk of coronary heart disease.
Look for trans fat on the label. If a food product has trans fats listed on the label, place the item back on the shelf and do not purchase the product. According to the FDA (2015) and the Director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Susan Mayne, Ph.D., trans fats are found naturally in all animal foods but can also be found in fully and partially hydrogenated oils as well as other edible oils (para. 6). No vegetable oil is free of trans fat, even olive oil. However because of current labeling laws most products contain trans fats yet trans fat is not listed on the nutrition facts panel. Most While some nutritional facts panels may list 0g trans fat per serving, this does not mean that the product is trans fat free.
How can food manufacturers develop labels that claim there is no trans fat in their product even though the product contains trans fat from either animal flesh, animal by products, oils, or fully and partially hydrogenated oils?
FDA Labeling Laws: According to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 21 food and drugs, chapter 1 food and drug administration, department of health and human services subchapter B – Food for Human consumption Volume 2 Part 101 – Food Labeling, Subpart D – Specific Requirements for Nutrient Content Claims 101.62 Nutrient Content Claims for fat, fatty acids, and cholesterol content of foods states that a food can use the terms fat free, zero fat, without fat and a variety of fat content claims if:
The food contains less than 0.5 g of saturated fat and less than 0.5 g trans fatty acid per reference amount customarily consumed and per labeled serving, or in the case of a meal product or main dish product, less than 0.5 g of saturated fat and less than 0.5 g trans fatty acid per labeled serving (para. 34).
This labeling law means if a product’s serving size contains .49 grams of saturated fat and .49 grams of trans fat per serving, trans fat does not need to be listed on the nutrition facts panel because it is under the .5g threshold. According to Brandt (2011), “This labeling is misguiding the public by allowing foods to be labeled as ‘‘trans fat free’’ when they are, in fact, not” (p. 158). Until labeling laws are changed, it is everyone’s responsibility to read labels very closely to ensure the products they purchase do not contain animal flesh or animal byproducts, edible oils, or fully or partially hydrogenated oils.
**Tips for avoiding trans fats: Eliminate animal flesh and animal byproducts and processed foods that contain oils as well as processed foods containing fully or partially hydrogenated oils as these are all sources of trans fat in the diet. Some nutritional facts panels claim 0g of trans fat even though they contain animal products, oils, and fully or partially hydrogenated oils within the ingredient list. Never trust a label even if the label claims “now with no trans fat” or “no trans fat per serving.” These claims do not mean the product does not contain trans fats. Companies may alter their recipes or change their serving size to lower the amount of trans fat contained within the product to avoid labeling the product as containing trans fat. Always read the ingredient statement, nutrition facts panel, and review the serving size.
Copyright © 2017 Kenoshaheart.org