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trans fat information and articles:

what are trans fats?

all about fats

trans fat labeling

learn how to read labels for trans fats

what is hydrogenation?

flax seed oil

the dangers of trans fats

healthy low fat snacks

healthy pie crust

all about extra virgin olive oil

trans fats in unexpected places

  soybean oil

interesterified fat


Reading the new food labels

By January, 2006 all packaged food products sold in the United States must have nutrition labels that include information about the trans fat content. While many companies area already modifying their labels, other food manufacturers are scampering to update their product packaging.

The new labels will help consumers track the amount of trans fat they are actually eating. Right now, it is nearly impossible for average people who eat a lot of processed foods to calculate the trans fatty acids that are in their diets. sample food label showing trans fat content

Remember that the information on each nutrition label is calculated per serving. So, it is critical to check the serving size and compare it to the amount of the food you actually eat.

Each label will indicate the total number of fat grams (marked "Total Fat") as well as the amount of that fat that is saturated fat and the amount that is classified as trans fat. There is no % daily value indicated for trans fat since the FDA does not recommend that people actually consume trans fats; nutritionally they offer no benefits.

So, what do you want to look for? The lower the number of grams of both trans fats and saturated fats, the better the food is for your health. A zero in each category probably means the fats in the food are fairly healthy. A product that is labeled zero grams of fat per serving may still contain up to .5 grams of fat per serving; at this amount, the FDA allows the manufacturer to claim the trans fat content is zero.

Even if the food does not have saturated or trans fats, it is still important to watch the total number of fat grams. While unsaturated fats, such as extra virgin olive oil, are far better than saturated or trans fats, fat contains more calories per gram than foods such as protein or carbohydrates. A healthy diet requires a balance of different foods and nutrition experts generally recommend less than 30% of each person's diet come from fat calories.

Learn more about trans fat labeling...


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