Health Watch

Fresno market gives tips to avoid trans fats

Thursday, November 07, 2013

It won't happen right away but eventually you won't be able to find any foods with trans fats at the supermarket or at restaurants. The Food and Drug Administration wants to eliminate the artificially created artery-clogging substance from Americans' diets.

The FDA said it will require the food industry to phase out all trans fats, saying it is a threat to people's health.

"If we're able to dramatically reduce the amount of trans fats that we take in as a nation it could prevent as many as 20,000 heart attacks every year and save as many as 7,000 lives," Action News Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser said.

Dr. Besser applauds the CDC's efforts to rid trans fats saying it raises levels of bad cholesterol is increasing the risk of heart disease. These days, it is in an estimated 12 percent of processed foods.

You can find trans fat in popular food items. Some of the food items may surprise you. Food items like pancake mix, margarine and chocolate silk pie have four grams of trans fat in just one serving.

Medical experts say even if a label says it has zero percent trans fat, that can be deceiving.

"You need to look at the ingredient list to see does it have may partially hydrogenated oil, which is another word for trans fat," Dr. Besser said.

At Whole Foods Market in Fresno experts say eating the most natural products, like fresh fruits and veggies, are one way to avoid the trans fats.

"Least processed foods, so staying away from oils, doing plant strong protein," Allison Faulkner from the Fresno Whole Foods Market said.

The store also has its own line called "health starts here" that follows healthy guidelines. Dr. Besser says the federal government is trying to take the guess work out for Americans, so they can eat a little easier.

"Which will help project you when you're eating out at a restaurant or protect when you're choosing products off the shelf at the supermarket. That's why his is such a big deal," Dr. Besser said.

There will be a 60 day comment period for manufacturers to weigh in. It could take a few years before all trans fats are phased out.

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