Trans Fat Health Effects

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

FDA Requirements for Trans Fats

The FDA requires manufacturers to list Trans fatty acids, or Trans Fat, on the Nutrition Facts panel of food products. But hey - this is good old America and there is always a way to steer around blockades, right?

Here's the blazing truth. If the content is equal to less than half a gram, manufacturers are not required to list that amount.

So what many manufacturers do to get around products which have more than half a gram is to reduce the recommended serving side.

Therefore, even though a nutrition label may state, "Trans Fat, 0 Grams", that doesn't mean that is free of this harmful lipid.

Effects of Trans Fats on the Human Body

Trans Fats have come to the forefront of health concerns as they have been associated with heart and circulatory diseases. They also have the ability to increase bad cholesterol while decreasing good.

There are different types of Trans Fats, some with healthy benefits.

Are you confused yet? Let's simplify.

Foods in which they occur.

Some occur naturally such as in meat and dairy products. When occurring naturally the health risks are significantly decreased.

Trans Fats occurring as a natural oil may actually offer health benefits.

Unhealthiest Form, Originate From Partially Hydrogenerated Oils

The Trans Fats that are derived from partially hydrogenerated oils should be avoided rather than limited as these are the bad boys which can inflict damage to the body.

When reading nutrition labels before making your purchase at the market - and you should do such, if the product states 'zero Trans fats' take things a step further and review the ingredient list.

If you see partially hydrogenerated oil listed, then the product most assuredly contains this unhealthy fatty acid.

Trans Fats Health Facts

 They aren't one of the healthy essential fatty acids. In fact, they are so unhealthy that the FDA is making it a chief task to get them removed from the American diet. Sure, those that occur naturally won't be eradicated - but the majority of those causing the worst health effects can be dealt with effectively.

Fast food and restaurant chains as well as manufacturers currently have the capability of ridding their menu items and products from the unhealthier forms of Trans fat - but most will require a law or mandate in order to make the shift. Why? Money.

It's cheaper to feed consumers the less healthy product.

 Trans Fats can contribute and cause the following health conditions: coronary artery disease, unhealthy cholesterol readings, weight gain, Alzheimer's Disease, depression and anxiety attacks, diabetes, possible infertility in females, liver disease and misfunctioning, and certain types of cancer.

The following labels depicts examples of FDA requirements for the Nutrition Fact panel.

Trans Fats as Listed on Nutrition Labeling

Standard Nutrition Facts panel

Examples of Graphic Enhancements used by the FDA

Nutrition Facts Panel with font, line weight and spacing specifications


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