Diabetes Forecast

Food Labels Mislead About Trans Fat

By Miriam E. Tucker , , ,
food label showing fat grams

Samuel Kessler/Getty Images

In recent years, consumers have become aware of the heart disease dangers of trans fat and have tried to avoid it by checking product labels. Problem is, labels may be misleading, researchers found when they surveyed 4,340 packaged foods. Of nearly 400 products that listed in the ingredients “partially hydrogenated oils,” the main dietary source of industrial trans fat, only 16 percent reported any trans fats on the label. The other 84 percent listed 0 grams of trans fat. Current Food and Drug Administration rules permit manufacturers to list 0 grams of trans fat on the label if the content is less than 0.5 grams per serving. Cookies and shelf-stable potato products, such as mashed potato mixes, were the products most likely to contain partially hydrogenated oils. Even if a label says 0 grams of trans fat, check the ingredient list for unhealthy hydrogenated oils before you buy a product.
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease, published online Aug. 28, 2014



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