What we once took for granted as being a healthy alternative to the
the high-fat content of margarine and butter has come home to haunt us.
Consumers are more concerned than ever about their health. In an
attempt to aid the public, the FDA has made food manufacturers
reveal those items in foods that are detrimental to our health.
This announcement by the FDA help consumers make smart decisions
concerning their health as individuals try to create and maintain
a healthy lifestyle. Informed consumers are eliminating transfats
from their diets. But eliminating transfats is only part of the equation.
The solution to the transfat debacle is healthy eating. Eating healthy
involves limiting saturated fats while increasing the amount
of healthy dietary choices.
The obvious way to limit these harmful fats is by loading up on
vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Another healthy eating choice
is to choose low-fat dairy and lean proteins.
In a recent news story, it was reported that the entire restaurant population
of New York may be required to eliminate transfats from their menus.
New York may take some formal action against the use of artificial trans
fats that are used in the restaurant and fast food industry.
The proposal will make New York the first large city in the country
to strictly limit such fats in restaurants.
This proposal would prohibit the entire restaurant industry from McDonald’s
to other street corner restaurants from using these unhealthy fats in their
Scientific evidence shows that the consumption of saturated fat, trans fat,
and dietary cholesterol raises low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad cholesterol,”
levels, which increases the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). According to
the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of
Health, more than 12.5 million Americans have CHD, and more than 500,000 die
each year. That makes CHD one of the leading causes of death in the United States.
The only good news about trans fat is that The Food and Drug Administration requires
that saturated fat and dietary cholesterol are listed on food labels. From the beginning
of Jan.1, 2006 food labels will have to reveal the use of trans fat as an ingredient.
With trans fat added to the Nutrition Facts panel, consumers will know for the first
time how much of all three–saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol–are in the foods
Identifying saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol on the food label gives the
consumer the information needed to make healthy food choices.
However, not everyone is aware of the risk posed by consuming too much saturated
fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. The effects of these fats on the body can be
devastating. Avoiding these items is critical to maintaining good health.
Saturated and trans fats have a detrimental effect on blood cholesterol.
The heart is also affected by transfat. “Transfat and saturated fats not only
affect how much plaque is deposited in blood vessels but also may damage the
the tissue of blood vessels. says Susan Moores, MS. R.D.who is a spokesperson
for the American Dietetic Association.
The path to healthy eating eliminates trans fat from our diets.
Buying foods that are labeled as being transfat free is a step
toward a healthier lifestyle. Read food labels carefully. Include those
foods that are nutrient-rich in your shopping cart. Put the transfat
labeled products back on the shelf.