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Study Finds Reducing Trans Fat Has Led to Healthier Foods

2010-05-27 09:15

Researched has reveled that companies and restaurants that cut trans fat from their foods, did not replace it with another bad fats. That is what a study said that was conducted by Dariush Mozaffarian of Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health and Michael F. Jacobson and Julie S. Greenstein of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

It appears that food manufacturers and chain restaurants reduced or eliminated artificial trans fat, the reformulated foods were lower in their total amount of trans and saturated fat. That means getting rid of these artificial trans fat usually resulted in foods that are healthier for hearts, according to the researchers.

Researchers say it was the largest survey of its kind ever done in the United States. The researchers of this study identified 83 brand-name packaged and restaurant foods that had been made with trans fat prior to 2007. They discovered that these foods were reformulated to eliminate the trans fat.

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“This study should alleviate concerns that most food manufacturers and restaurants would simply switch to a shortening high in saturated fat when they reformulated their products without trans fat,” Mozaffarian said. “In only a small handful of baked goods, more saturated fat was added than trans fat subtracted following reformulation. Still, because a gram of trans fat is more harmful than a gram of saturated fat, even those changes represented relative improvements. In the majority of products, trans fat was reduced or eliminated without corresponding increases in saturated fat. In the case of reformulated restaurant foods, not only was trans fat largely eliminated, but saturated fat also was reduced—making for a much healthier food.”

An example of this would be For example, a large order of McDonald’s French fries normally has 13 grams of saturated and trans fats, however, it ended up with only 3.5 grams. The total amount of trans and saturated fats in Gorton’s Crunchy Golden Fish Sticks went from 7 grams to 4 grams. It is clear there is an effort being made.

“This paper demonstrates that the U.S. food industry has been generally responsible in replacing partially hydrogenated oils with more healthful oils,” Jacobson said. “That should pave the way for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to eliminate partially hydrogenated oils from the food supply. The agency could do that quite easily by stating that it no longer considers partially hydrogenated oil to be ‘generally recognized as safe,’ and give companies a year or two to switch to healthier oils.”