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Trans-Fat-Free Foods: Many Claims are False
- Updated: August 31, 2014
According to a new study conducted by the New York health department, earlier claims of many foods being trans-fat-free are completely false. In truth, this study showed that there is a large number of processed foods that not only contain trans-fats but a more significant amount that suspected.
The American Heart Association describes states that trans-fats found in food products are divided into two groups – artificial and naturally occurring. Artificial trans-fats come from hydrogen-to-liquid vegetable oils added to food to make them solid whereas naturally occurring trans-fats are produced in the gut of certain foods and animals.
Trans-fats are commonly used by food makers because they are easy to use, they cost very little money, and they last a long time. These give foods a more palatable taste and texture, which makes them more appealing to consumers. Unfortunately, the consumption of foods containing trans-fats increases risk of heart disease and stroke, and in newer studies, indicates a greater risk for type 2 diabetes as well.
For a long time, people have been told that many foods either do not contain trans-fats or container very little but now, the New York study has proven that products claiming to be trans-fat-free do in fact contain some level. Close to 4,400 of the biggest selling packaged foods sold were analyzed and as reported by NBC News, of those, researchers associated with the study identified that 9% contained trans-fats.
However, information from the study was published in the journal, Preventing Chronic Disease, and after examining the 9% of foods found to contain trans-fats, researchers discovered 84% of those products were advertised as being “trans-fat-free”. In looking at the labeling, these products claimed to have 0 grams of trans-fats, which ultimately clog arteries and lead to life-threatening problems.
Obviously, false labeling is extremely dangerous because it leads consumers to believe they are purchasing one thing when in fact, they are buying foods that can lead to devastating results. When someone sees “0 trans-fats” on the Nutrition Facts label for products, they assume accuracy, as stated by Jenifer Clapp with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.