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New Survey Shows Consumers Making Effort to Buy Healthy Foods But Buyer Beware: 'Zero' Isn't Always Zero
Date:5/19/2009

increase your risk of heart disease by 23%, according to the New England Journal of Medicine(1). The Journal reports one gram of trans fat increases the risk of cardiovascular disease 15 times more than one gram of saturated fat.

What Can Consumers Do to Determine Whether "Zero" Really Equals Zero?

"The key is to look for 'partially hydrogenated oil' in the list of ingredients. That's a dead giveaway that there's trans fat in the product no matter what it says on the package," said Alyse Levine, a registered dietitian. "Here's a simple rule to follow -- if you see 'partially hydrogenated oil' listed on a product's label, just put it back on the shelf and find another product that doesn't," Levine added.

"It's also important to pay attention to serving size which can be much smaller than you think. If you're eating multiple servings of the food, you may be consuming a significant amount of trans fat and putting yourself at risk for many negative health consequences," Levine said.

Smart Balance CEO Steve Hughes believes the U.S. needs to take it a step further and ban trans fat altogether as Denmark has done, resulting in a 20% drop in heart disease. "It's time consumers know the truth about trans fat and time the FDA takes action to protect their health by simply banning partially hydrogenated oil," Hughes said. "Partially hydrogenated oil has no nutritional value and poses a real health risk."

"The good news is Americans are making healthier food choices a priority and they clearly recognize the dangers of trans fat. But unfortunately reading the fine print is necessary to ensure they're not getting more trans fat and putting their health at greater risk than they bargained for," Levine said.

Now more than ever, with 67% of those surveyed saying they are eating out less and cooking at home more in the past six months, the choices consumers make at the
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SOURCE Smart Balance
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