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Website Explains Trans Fats

Monday, 18 June 2012 12:58 PM

Trans fats are bad for your health, right? Well, yes and no. In fact, some natural trans fats -- found in meat and milk -- are not harmful and may in fact have health-enhancing potential.
Confused? A new website -- www.naturaltransfats.ca – has been created to help consumers better understand the important differences to human health between industrial and natural trans fats.
The site – created and maintained by scientists with the University of Alberta’s Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science – provides a consumers’ guide to health recommendations, food choices and nutrition labeling.
A growing amount of evidence suggest that industrial trans fats are a major threat and should be avoided, but not all trans fats are created equal, noted Dr. Spencer Proctor, a heart specialist with the University of Alberta.
"We are at a point with the science where there is important information to deliver to the consumer on natural trans fats and how they are different from the 'bad' trans fats they have so often heard about," said Proctor, a leading researcher on natural trans fats and a science advisor to the new website.
"The aim of the website is to help consumers, and nutrition advocates, recognize the difference between industrial and natural trans fats and the basics of what this means for their health and for making good food and dietary choices. Over time, it will also include more in-depth information for people involved in interpreting the science and providing nutritional and health advice."
Natural trans fats are a natural part of milk and meat from dairy and beef cattle, bison, goats and sheep, said Proctor. "These fats are not a health concern as part of a healthy, balanced diet."
The website includes an interactive menu of foods with natural trans fats, which includes per serving information on calories, daily value and natural trans fats content.
"Currently, nutrition labels on food products do not differentiate between natural and industrial trans fats, which is a challenge for consumers who want more specific information," noted Proctor. "The interactive feature on the website is a good tool to find out which food products have natural trans fats and what level of natural trans fats they contain."

© HealthDay

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Resource helps consumers identify natural trans fats that may health benefits.
Monday, 18 June 2012 12:58 PM
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