In 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made a rule that trans-fat had to be listed on food labels, saying it is the “bad” fat, the kind of fat that stays hard at room temperature — mostly found in animal fats.
So now, there are two categories on food labels, for label readers out there — fat grams, and “trans-fat” grams.
Without getting into a lot of details about the molecular structure of trans-fat vs. regular fat, it seems that trans-fat is the kind of fat more likely to clog your arteries and cause heart disease and heart attacks. However, I still think fat is fat is fat – when trying to follow any kind of weight maintenance program — and all fat is higher in calories — portion-wise – than most other food.
In past blogs, you may have noticed that I’m a calorie counter. However, in living the thin lifestyle, it is all about “calories-in, calories out.” Therein lies the myth of trans-fat: If you think by cutting down on trans-fat, that it’s the only thing you need to do to stay thin – it’s just not true.
Even Wikipedia said there’s not enough worldwide data to support its findings. It’s simply the newest “thing” that people (mostly in the United States and Europe) have jumped on, to gather ’round the dieting circles, thinking this will be the magic cure to help with weight control.
Here are a few things that baffle me about the trans-fat fad:
1) Crisco switches to a trans-fat formula, to satisfy customer outcry. Sorry, folks, one tablespoon of Crisco still has 12.8 grams of fat.
2) Bagel bites takes out full-page advertisements touting their product is better than Pizza Rolls, because they aren’t made with trans-fat; sorry, again, but a serving of Bagel Bites still has 7 grams of fat.
3) Almonds, my personal favorite snack, has zero grams trans-fat. But 1/4 cup has 15 grams of fat — so think “portion control,” and don’t eat too many.
4) McDonald’s switches from beef tallow to vegetable oil to deep fry their french fries. Does this make the french fries, and the people who eat them, healthier? Aren’t the french fries still being deep fried in oil? So, basically, high in fat grams and high in calories. I love McDonald’s french fries, but am not going to eat 100 of them simply because they switched to a “no trans-fat” deep-fat way of frying. It’s still fat. So only eat a few.
The only magic formula that works in weight management is watching the intake of calories, and outgo, that will keep our veins from getting clogged with fat. A body that is at its ideal weight is going to have much less chance of having high cholesterol, even you eat a few trans-fat (sharp intake of breath) calories in a day, or not.
Don’t be fooled, be educated, be smart — and live thin!
(also read my blog “Bashing a Common Diet Belief; There are No Bad Foods” for more information)