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In The News: Trans-tastic!

I+C+B+I+N+BUnilever announced yesterday it “plans to remove all partially hydrogenated oils — artificial trans fats — from its soft-spread brands, including I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and Shedd’s Spread Country Crock,” USA Today reports.

The reformulation goes into effect this August and must be completed by March of 2010.

This is the real thing, by the way.  Deception-free!

The same can’t be said about their current product lineup, which advertise “0 grams of trans fat” simply because each serving contains less than 0.5 grams.

That sneakiness in itself is infuriating, but it is a double blow since the Food & Drug Administration considers it legitimate and legal!

Alas, change has come.  “[Unilever] will no longer mix in even tiny amounts [of trans fat], which added texture and shelf life. The new label, for the first time, will boast: No hydrogenated oils.”

As a result of the new ingredient list, “all four of [Unilever's] spread brands will have only 0.05 grams per serving of trans fat, the minute amount that occurs naturally in vegetable oils.”

Paying attention to servings is still important, since these “new” spreads will have higher levels of saturated fat.

I can already hear it.  “It’s always something, isn’t it?”

Not exactly.  Remember — a 2,000 calorie diet allows for 20 grams of saturated fat a day (a 2,400 calorie diet, meanwhile, allows for 24 grams).

That is very different from trans fats — the recommendation was to have absolutely none (not counting the minuscule amounts that naturally occur).

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3 Comments

  1. Mackenzie said on July 28th, 2009

    I know that unsaturated fats are very good for us. I know that trans fats should be avoided at all costs. I know that sat fat isn’t so hot for us, but I’m not sure to what degree.

    Although there is a certain percentage of daily intake allowance for sat fat, should one try to limit that as close to zero as possible?

  2. Brandon said on July 29th, 2009

    The saturated fat topic is very annoying, mostly because the length of the chain matters in determining its effect on cholesterol levels and heart disease risk, like I’m supposed to know that for every food. (example: coconut oil is mostly MCTs so it’s not that ‘bad’ and possibly even ‘good’)

    Then you have the low carb dieters who I’d imagine eat too much saturated fat but then say “oh but my LDL is the ‘fluffy’ kind which has ‘been shown’ to not be so detrimental.”

  3. Andy Bellatti said on July 29th, 2009

    Perfect timing, Brandon. I was just about to answer Mackenzie’s question on the blog and address some of those issues. Stay tuned…

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