Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Sept. 7, 2011: Not all trans fats are created equal and it's time for a change in nutrition labels in North America to reflect this, particularly when it comes to dairy and beef products.
According to a scientific review published in the latest edition of Advances in Nutrition, natural trans fats produced by ruminant animals such as dairy and beef cattle are not detrimental to health and in fact show significant positive health effects. Some evidence even links these natural trans fats to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
"The body of evidence clearly points to a change needed in how nutrition labels are handled," says Dr. Spencer Proctor, one of the review authors and Director of the Metabolic and Cardiovascular Diseases Laboratory at the University of Alberta in Canada. "Right now, in Canada and U.S. a substantial portion of natural trans fats content is included in the nutrition label trans fats calculation, which is misleading for the consumer. We need a reset in our approach to reflect what the new science is telling us."
Consumers are bombarded on a regular basis about what they should and shouldn't eat. Quite often fat is the primary target of what to avoid and trans fats in particular have a negative reputation. However, the scientific review in Advances in Nutrition reveals that consuming natural trans fats produced by ruminant animals has different health effects than consuming industrial trans fats, such as partially hydrogenated vegetable oils used in the preparation of some foods such as some baked goods.
As the scientific evidence mounts, there is slowly rising public awareness of this difference. A change in how trans fat information is presented on nutrition labels would be a huge step forward, says Proctor. In some European countries, for example, natural trans fat is not included in the nutrition label calculation. Another approach may be to have separat
|Contact: Dr. Spencer Proctor|
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