Coming to a Store near You: Trans Fat Labels

Published Online: Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Trans fats are known to be risk factors for cardiovascular disease and, like saturated fats, can raise low-density lipoprotein ("bad") cholesterol levels. But until recently, whereas saturated fats have been included on food packaging labels, trans fats have not been required information. That changed at the start of 2006, when the FDA required food manufacturers to start listing trans fat information on their regular packaging.

Nutritionists stated that although most people are aware that "hydrogenated"or "partially hydrogenated"vegetable oils may signal the presence of trans fats, just listing these was not enough to determine exact amounts of trans fats in the foods in question. Also, many people are not aware how much trans fat is too much in their diets.

New labels will show the amounts of trans fats in each food in relation to the 2000-calorie diet comparison currently present on most labels, and that 20 g of saturated fat is the recommended daily intake limit. Listing exact amounts of trans fats will help people determine how close they are to reaching that limit.

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