Trans-Fat Labels on Food Deceiving: Study

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    NEWSLETTERS

    When you head to the grocery store looking for something healthy, an option that says transfat free may look like a good choice. But it may be misleading. Ian Cull reports.

    You may be eating more bad fat than you think. Researchers at the New York Health Department checked 4,340 top-selling packaged foods, and found 9 percent of them contained trans-fats. Of those, 84 percent proclaimed themselves as trans-fat free.

    SJSU Associate Professor of Nutrition and Food Science Marjorie Freedman says labels can be deceiving.

    "The FDA allowed anything with up to 0.5 grams of trans fat to be labeled as zero grams,” she said.

    Freedman says the ingredients will show if there’s trans-fat in the food even if the label does not. She says people should look for hydrogenated oils.

    As a nutritionist, she’s more concerned about people sitting down and eating a half box of cookies even if they’re fat free.

    "To me the problem is not the trans-fats that they're getting in those cookies, it's all of the calories,” Freedman said.

    She applauds the industry for efforts to cut trans-fats out of foods.

    "Ten years ago, thousands of foods contained it so the industry has really made great progress,” Freedman said.