On Nutrition: Beyond Trans Fats

Happy Monday! If you didn’t have a chance to read my latest On Nutrition column in yesterday’s Seattle Times, “With trans fats banned, what new evils lurk in processed foods,” please give it a look.

One of the points I wanted to hammer home was that there is a tendency to think that because trans fats are bad, if a food has zero trans fats, then it must be good! That’s not necessarily so.
In the column, I mention the concern about interesterified fats, namely that they could turn out to be as bad as trans fats (we simply don’t know yet). You won’t see the words “interesterified” on food labels (these fats may appear under a variety of names), so sussing them out won’t be easy. Since the healthiest diets are based on real, whole foods + some minimally processed foods* (in other words, foods that naturally don’t contain trans fats), the best bet is to look at your consumption of highly processed foods and, if it tends to be high, start cutting back.

If you want to read more about trans fat and their alternatives, here are some more resources:

* Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on processed foods!