Trans fat is more common than you might think

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Sometimes reading the labels isn’t even enough to avoid trans fat. In Olumia Life, ensuring the nutritional value of your diet is a major priority, and that may mean reading the nutrition information on the packaging of foods you’re buying. However, it’s important to be aware that some foods may have trans fat, even though the label says there is 0% inside.

That’s right, regulations allow foods containing 0.6 g or less of trans fat in a single serving to list the content as 0. That may not sound like a lot, but half grams can quickly add up, especially when no amount of trans fat is healthy except none.

The Trans Fat Surprise

Trans fat is made by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil. This partially hydrogenated oil (PHO) is then added to food to give it an extended shelf life or as oil for deep frying in restaurants because it can be used longer. If it can make products last longer, it’s plain to see how it would save a lot of money.

Trans fat is added to many different products, including:

  • Anything Fried: Because it lasts longer, it’s possible that whatever you eat that has been fried, may have been in PHO.
  • Baked Goods: Some states, like California, have laws banning the use of PHO as a shortening. However, other states do not, and it can be found in cakes, pastries, pie crust and more.
  • Frozen or Refrigerated Doughs: Frozen pizzas, canned biscuits, and anything made with dough that never seems to go bad.
  • Packaged Snacks: Pretty much any bag of chips you might see at a gas station is included. Potato and tortilla chips and many others.

Many people are aware of the problems with trans fat, such as it’s association with heart disease, so foods containing a reportable amount are often less popular. In order to get around this, some companies keep the level of trans fat at just less than what would require them to say more than 0.

How common is this?

According to a recent study by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, it’s fairly prevalent.

The study looked at the nutrition facts on a total of 4,340 products and found that of the 391 products that listed partially hydrogenated oil as an ingredient, 330 of them reported that there were 0 grams contained therein.

The US Food and Drug Administration is already looking into closing this loophole. However, until that happens, it’s important to know that 0 grams is not necessarily nothing.

Trans Fat: Avoidance

The next time you’re shopping for food, be sure to read the ingredients listed as well as the Nutrition Facts on the packaging. If you see anything like partially hydrogenated oils or PHOs, there’s trans fat in there.

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