On top of that the FDA allows foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils to list "zero" trans fats on the nutrition facts label if they contain less then 5 grams per serving.
So exactly how does a trans fat occur? In short, it is a specific type of fat formed when liquid fats are made into solid fats by the addition of hydrogen atoms (the ratlab.com/review).
The health ramifications of trans fats become endless. Leading experts on the topic conclude that cell damage caused by consuming trans fats result in low birth weight in infants, an increase in blood insulin levels leading to diabetes, immune system suppression, and a likely factor in childhood asthma. The consumption of trans fats has shown to increase the risk of CAD (Coronary Artery Disease) by raising levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and lowering HDL (good)
In May 2005, the city if Tiburon in California became the first U.S. city where all restaurants voluntarily cook with trans fat free oils. We have all probably heard by now about the N.Y. City Board of health in 2006 voted to ban trans fats in all restaurants, mainly due to the "artery clogging" properties.
Since this time many other cities have followed suit. California has now become the first state to ban trans fats in all restaurants. Beginning in 2010, countries such as Canada, Australia, and the U.K. have agreed to limit or ban entirely the use of trans fats in all establishments.
Most restaurants (including fast food) have followed suit, realizing that the average consumer has wised up to the health effects of trans fats.
How much trans fats is in our regular diets? For some of us, there are hardly any at all, but for others, it could be excess of up to 15grams per day. Seem hard to believe? Consider these figures: one McDonald's large fries contain 8 grams of trans fat. A McDonald's apple pie contains 4.5 grams of trans fat!
O.K. lets go down the street to KFC. Maybe some healthier options? A large order of popcorn chicken contains 7 grams of trans fat while a 3 piece of extra crispy combo meal including drumstick, two thighs, potato wedges and a biscuit = 15grams.
There may be some confusion on what to eat and what not to eat.
Here is a quick synopsis:
· First off stay away from any partially hydrogenated oils or shortening.
· Even if it states "zero" trans fats, its not necessarily true.
· When restaurant dining and you are concerned, ask if they use partially hydrogenated oils or shortening.
· Although, I do advocate consuming some saturated fats, keep your intake low, and keep in mind that polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are considered "good eats".
· Finally, keep in mind that when you are consuming processed foods and ready to prepare foods, these products will usually contain at least traces of trans fats and probably more.