Saturday, January 14, 2012

Artificial trans fat still in supermarkets despite heart risks (USA)

Marie Callender's pies, Pop Secret's microwave popcorns, and Long John Silver's Breaded Clam Strips all share a little secret: they are among many products that still contain high levels of artificial trans fat. Because trans fat is a potent cause of heart disease, the US federal government and the American Heart Association have urged consumers to avoid foods that contain it. After the Food and Drug Administration required trans fat to be listed on food labels, most large manufacturers removed partially hydrogenated oil, the source of artificial trans fat, from their products. And in response to lawsuits, bad publicity, and local and state-level restrictions, most large restaurant chains similarly stopped using the discredited ingredient. Thus, while many consumers might consider the problem solved, several large companies continue to market products containing unhealthy, and unnecessary amounts of trans fat. Marie Callender's Lattice Apple Pie (ConAgra Foods) contains 5 grams of trans fat per serving. Varieties of Pop Secret microwave popcorn (Diamond Foods) contain 4 or 5 grams of trans fat per serving. An order of Long John Silver's Breaded Clam Strips contains 7 grams of trans fat. While White Castle recently eliminated trans fat from most of its products, some regionally marketed pastries contain large amounts. White Castle's doughnuts contain a whopping 8 or 9 grams of trans fat per serving. The American Heart Association recommends that people limit their trans fat intake to no more than two grams per day. Since small amounts of trans fat occur naturally in beef and dairy products, that leaves very little, if any, room for artificial trans fat from partially hydrogenated oil - CSPI

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