Thursday, July 5, 2007

Hiding the Trans-Fat

So with all this talk about cities banning trans-fat I wondered how girl scout cookies, regular peanut butter, and margarine could survive being that they all have significant quantities of trans fat in them.

Well I was glad to see girl scout cookies flaunting a "0g Trans Fat per serving" statement on their website amongst margarine carrying a label of "0g of Trans-Fat per serving." I wondered how they did it, so a quick scan of the ingredients list and low and behold..."partially hydrogenated" oils on the ingredient list. I was a little confused at first because for years I had thought that was in fact trans-fats. I did some research to confirm and low and behold partially hydrogenated oils are in fact trans fats.

Trans Fat Free? Think Again

So how are companies able to advertise a food as 0g of trans fat when it in fact has trans fats. Simple, cut the serving size down and make sure the trans fats total out to less than .5g per serving and you can label it as zero. Pretty brilliant when you think about it. It's similar to how spray oils like Pam can call themselves fat free when in fact the whole can only contains fat. The serving size is 1/4sec spray, which mind you is impossible to deliver or useful when cooking.

All in all I guess banning trans fats is somewhat of a step in the right direction but the application of it falls short of my expectations. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Something to look for on packages is "No Trans Fat." When a claim like that is made that means it has none what so ever. I find it interesting that some of the "healthy" packaged snacks you might find have these trans fats in them. I find them in expensive protein bars all the time. So make sure you check those ingredient labels, and the next time a girl scout offers you some cookies, don't be afraid to buy a couple boxes, and give em to your friends. This way they get fat, and you look better when you hang around them, all while promoting scouting for our youth.


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