FDA requires food products to list trans fat - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

FDA requires food products to list trans fat

December 28, 2005

Albany--Next week, it'll be a lot easier to know what's in the food you eat. Starting January first, the Food and Drug Administration will require manufacturers to list the amount of trans fat contained in their packaged foods.

One south Georgian looks forward to the change.

Before Cynthia Turnipsced buys food, she pays close attention to the label. "When it says no trans fat, I sort of pay attention to that," she says.

Because Cynthia is a diabetic, she's careful at what she eats. "It's very important I have to watch everything, I have to plan, watch, keep my weight down," she says.

From cookies to chips, many processed foods contain trans fat which can be harmful to your health. "It can cause trouble with heart disease," says dietician, Frank Heredeen.

Most trans fat is unnatural and unhealthy. "Trans fatty acid has the same risks as saturated fat, so you should cut it down whenever you can," he says.

However, it's not always easy to do. "Everything tastes a little better with fat in it," says Cynthia.

A lot of manufacturers, including General Mills are purposely adding trans fat to their foods to preserve their products.

"Even heathy peanut butter, something that's not hydrogenated, it will spoil quicker than something hydrogenated," says Heredeen.

While trans fat can certainly make many foods taste better, if you want to be healthy Cynthia says, "You have to pick and choose, bottom line, you have to pick and choose."

The new rules will not require manufacturers to list food products containing less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. And if you order food at a restaurant... you'll have to ask your server for the nutritional info. Restaurants are exempt from the new FDA rule.

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