Last June, the FDA issued a ruling banning trans fats from packaged foods and restaurants. They were deemed unsafe for human consumption due to the wealth of evidence linking them to increased heart risks, chronic inflammation, behavioral problems, and diabetes…
So it’s a huge relief that they’re finally banned… or are they?
Because when it comes to the FDA’s typically weak attempts at “consumer safety,” there’s always a loophole (or two, or three).
Beware of dangerous FDA fabrications
For years, the FDA has allowed food manufacturers to claim their products contained “zero trans fats” if the products delivered less than half a gram of trans fats per serving.
Since when did “zero” not equal zero?! These numbers definitely matter, especially since years ago, a National Academy of Sciences panel determined that the only safe intake of trans fat is, well,…zero.
And after the FDA eventually came around in 2015, they gave food manufacturers three years to eliminate use of the partially-hydrogenated oils that create trans fats from their products.
So last June was supposed to be the end of the road for trans fats. Only…it wasn’t.
Some foods have proven problematic in eliminating partially-hydrogenated oils, so the FDA gave these foods manufacturers even more time to figure out how to conform to the ban. They include some brands of:
- Products made with vegetable shortening: Such as pie crusts, pastries, doughnuts, muffins, and cakes. (Even some cake frostings contain partially-hydrogenated oils.)
- Vegetable oils and margarines: This means that fried foods at restaurants (French fries, chicken, fish, etc.) are likely to contain trans fats. And high cooking temperatures used in frying can boost trans fat totals.
- Microwave popcorns
- Potato chips, corn chips, and crackers
- Non-dairy coffee creamers
Frozen pizza is especially likely to contain trans fats.
Clearly, there are still many foods that deliver small amounts of trans fats. And even though hydrogenated oils continue to be phased out, the loophole that “0.5 grams per serving can be called ‘zero trans fats’” still stands.
That’s right — the FDA still allows food producers leeway to use these harmful oils in spite of their dangers to public health.
So as always, it’s important to check product ingredient labels. If you see the word “hydrogenated,” put it down and don’t look back, because your heart and your metabolic health are at risk.
Trans fats zero tolerance
For many years, the Weston A. Price Foundation has been way ahead of the curve in dietary common sense — including their recognition that saturated fats are healthy, while trans fats pose clear dangers.
In 2006, Price board member and nutritionist Mary Enig, Ph.D., wrote, “Recommendations to avoid saturated fats almost invariably result in people consuming more trans fats. There is no question but that the trans fats have been shown to have a detrimental effect on the incidence and treatment of type 2 diabetes.”
And to that, Dr. Enig added that several studies show trans fats interfere with insulin receptors and insulin resistance.
This is a key point that Dr. Fred Pescatore also makes in his Metabolic Repair Protocol, where he notes the inflammatory effect of trans fats as an insulin resistance trigger.
This is why he strongly cautions against consuming any trans fats.
He issues this proactive recommendation: “Go to your cupboard, look at every canned, bagged, or boxed food, and throw away anything that has the words ‘partially-hydrogenated’ or ‘vegetable shortening’ on it. Margarine should be first on your list. Also, don’t cook oils past the point where they produce smoke.”
In place of vegetable oils, he recommends macadamia nut oil — a monounsaturated fat that he says is “better than any other oil out there.”
Dr. Pescatore outlines more do’s and don’ts regarding your diet, nutrition, lifestyle interventions, and more in his Metabolic Repair Protocol. So if you or a loved one are interested in preventing, treating, or even reversing metabolic syndrome, prediabetes, or type 2 diabetes, simply click here to learn more about this essential online learning tool, or to enroll today.
“Artificial trans fats, widely linked to heart disease, are officially banned” Washington Post, 6/18/18. (washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/06/18/artificial-trans-fats-widely-linked-to-heart-disease-are-officially-banned/?utm_term=.0ca86d63306f)
“7 Foods That Still Contain Trans Fats” Healthline, 10/29/18. (healthline.com/nutrition/trans-fat-foods#section1)
“Do Saturated Fats and Trans Fats Cause Type-2 Diabetes?” The Weston A. Price Foundation, 7/16/06. (westonaprice.org/health-topics/know-your-fats/do-saturated-fats-and-trans-fats-cause-type-2-diabetes/)