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Food manufacturers use ‘label loophole’ to hide dangerous fats content

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Processed food manufacturers are deliberately misleading the public about one of the most dangerous ingredients in their products.
Because of a ‘labelling loophole’, people are eating far more unsaturated fats – or trans fats – than they realise. As a result, they are dramatically increasing their risk of developing chronic health problems such as heart disease.
Ideally, people should not be consuming any trans fats, but health authorities reckon that we can eat up to 1.11 grams a day without causing serious health problems.
However, people are unwittingly eating far more than that because of the lax controls on food labelling. In the UK, manufacturers don’t even have to mention if their products contain unsaturated fats – and it’s up to the consumer to play detective by finding tell-tale words such as ‘hydrogenated fats’ that indicate the presence of trans fats.
In the US, manufacturers must indicate it as an ingredient, but only if the amount exceeds .50 grams. Below that and the manufacturer is allowed to claim zero content, thus misleading people.
Eating several processed foods every day – that purportedly contain zero trans fats but, in fact, contain .49 grams – increase the risk of heart disease by 30 per cent.
(Source: American Journal of Health Promotion, 2011; 23: 157).

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