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Old 07-20-06, 09:38 PM   #1
Jarery
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Trans Fat disclosure labeling

I was looking at grabbing a pack of Nabisco fig newtons the other day as i like to carry em along on rides. I check the nutrition label and it had something like 0.3 gm trans fat per couple of cookies. I thought damn thats quit a bit so I skipped picking them up, and got some made with whole grain pastry instead, at about 60% increased cost too.

So then I'm killing time one night and decided to check the labeling online. The American Nabisco site lists them as either 0 grams trans fat, or doesnt list trans fat at all. American food producers are only required to list trans fat if its over 0.5 grams per serving. So companies just lower their serving size till the trans fat is 0.49 or less, then they can state 0 trans fat. Like dorritoes and others do.

Canadian regulations state a company must disclose it when the level is 0.2 or greater. So i go visit the canadian site, and they somehow forgot to include nutritional information for fig newtons. I live in canada so thats why the actual package had to state trans fat in the store. Funny how the sites managed to post zero trans fat for their new whole grain ones though.

Amazing at how companies will do things to basically lie to consumers. Reducing serving size till trans fat is below .49 seems common. I seen microwave popcorn listed at 8 servings per bag in order to show low values. Who shares 1 microwave bag with 8 people ?

Canadian laws are a bit more strict, but why do they always do half assed measures. If trans fat is the killer they say it is, and recomend zero intake, why did they give companies an out when they institute new labeling laws. Now it'll be another 20 years before they make them state any amount.

Ok mini rant over anyone got fig newtons in their cupboard that list transfat ?
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Old 07-20-06, 10:01 PM   #2
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Nope, but today I found out that pop-tarts have 5g of trans fat!! Luckily it wasn't me eating them. . .
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Old 07-20-06, 10:05 PM   #3
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Just look at the ingrediants. If "partially hydrogenated" anything is listed, its got trans fat.
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Old 07-23-06, 05:39 PM   #4
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The .5 rule applies to every part of the label. Fat, calories, sugar, etc.
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Old 07-23-06, 06:54 PM   #5
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Thats stupid.
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Old 07-23-06, 07:49 PM   #6
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yep, thank the FDA.
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Old 07-23-06, 08:22 PM   #7
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Fat free Fig Newtons list 0% trans fat on the label. May be more creative labeling, I dunno.
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Old 07-24-06, 07:16 AM   #8
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When did Canada start having nutrition labels on packaged food?

When I lived there (7 years ago) nutrition labels were not mandated (some packaged food, if they were made by a US company, had the US style labels, (like Doritos) but in general, the labels were absent.
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Old 07-24-06, 08:15 AM   #9
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I had to give up on fig newtons years ago when they went trans-fat. I now buy the dried figs once in a while. I use pitted Dates in the place of energy bars when I cycle. High in sugar.

Al

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Old 07-24-06, 02:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Al.canoe
I had to give up on fig newtons years ago when they went trans-fat. I know buy the dried figs once in a while. I use pitted Dates in the place of energy bars when I cycle. High in sugar.

Al
there are many all natural alternatives to fig newtowns.
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Old 07-24-06, 02:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheebahmunkey
there are many all natural alternatives to fig newtowns.
Can you list some?
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Old 07-24-06, 06:49 PM   #12
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Seems all the companies now are switching to a whole wheat version, that has zero trans fat. The ones I bought were raspberry & whole wheat. Tasted quite good

My complaint is that the current ones do have trans fat, but american laws allow thw producers to list trans fat as zero by lowering the serving size till it gets under the 0.5 limit.
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Old 07-24-06, 09:02 PM   #13
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What is the suggested daily allowance of trans fat based on a 2000 calorie diet?
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Old 07-24-06, 09:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crypticlineage
Can you list some?
Fig Newman's are a big one. Go to a natural foods store like Whole Foods and look down the cookie aisle. They have a few. At the Whole Foods I go to they also have whole grain fig newton's in bulk.
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Old 07-24-06, 09:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by MattE30
What is the suggested daily allowance of trans fat based on a 2000 calorie diet?
Zero

Edit: actually to clarify, there is no minimum limit recomended so try to obtain zero which almost impossible of you dont cook all your own food from scratch. There is a maximum limit suggested of 2 grams, or about 1/2 a donut

Last edited by Jarery; 07-24-06 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 07-24-06, 10:11 PM   #16
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Yeah it sucks. They've been doing this trick for years. Back during the fat craze, packages read, "0 grams fat " per serving.

It's amazing how at your regular supermarket, you can't find cookies without any transfat.
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Old 07-25-06, 12:44 AM   #17
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I can go into the chemistry behind it if you guys are interested.
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Old 07-25-06, 08:40 AM   #18
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I am
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Old 07-25-06, 03:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Impoliticus
Nope, but today I found out that pop-tarts have 5g of trans fat!! Luckily it wasn't me eating them. . .
If I am too lazy to make my own cycling snack (pancakes, sandwich...) I like these as a cycling snack. They are as convenient as a pop-tart and don't have as much crap:

http://www.naturespath.com/products/snack_foods
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Old 07-25-06, 03:42 PM   #20
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well to be an unsaturated fat, it means that there are fewer hydrogens in a molecule than there *should* be. For instance a correct molecule (with no unsaturations) would be C5H12. The formula for figuring out how many hydrogens there should be is 2n + 2 where n = # of carbons. Well, as you may have guessed, saturated fats have all the hydrogens and therefore can fit together more easily and are also therefore denser. This dense material is traveling through your body. So basically, hydrogenating fats adds hydrogens and makes those fats denser, in turn clogging your arteries. I just gave a very simplistic view. It's all much more complicated than this.
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Old 07-25-06, 07:01 PM   #21
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SimiCyclist is right...'If "partially hydrogenated" anything is listed, its got trans fat.'

Instead of looking at the grams or percents, look at the ingredients. Partially hydrogenated equals trans fats. It also means it goes back on the shelf.

The good thing I have noticed since the FDA required labeling of trans fat is that many companies are now eliminating partially hydrogenated oils from the ingredients on many foods.

When my doctor put me on a heart healthy diet last November it was a shock to discover the majority of the foods I was eating were loaded with partially hydrogenated oils. It took some adjustment but my wife and I have eliminated them from our diet. You'll just have to accept that there are some foods you really like that you just can't eat anymore.

Jarery said - Edit: actually to clarify, there is no minimum limit recomended so try to obtain zero which almost impossible of you dont cook all your own food from scratch. -

It's not impossible - you just have to switch from prepared/processed foods to more fruits and vegitables and whole grains. Yes, you do have to make more meals from 'scratch', but you can make most of your favorites from easilly avaible items at your store. Try ditching frozen pizza for a pre-made pizza crust, topped with canned pizza sauce, grilled chicken and fresh mozzerella. Less fat, less sodium, no trans fat and ten times the flavor...

When cheebahmunkey starts talking chemistry I start having flashbacks to college and sleeping through chem lecture...

In the end, don't eat the stuff - it's as bad for you, if not worse, than smoking...
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Old 07-25-06, 08:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheebahmunkey
well to be an unsaturated fat, it means that there are fewer hydrogens in a molecule than there *should* be. For instance a correct molecule (with no unsaturations) would be C5H12. The formula for figuring out how many hydrogens there should be is 2n + 2 where n = # of carbons. Well, as you may have guessed, saturated fats have all the hydrogens and therefore can fit together more easily and are also therefore denser. This dense material is traveling through your body. So basically, hydrogenating fats adds hydrogens and makes those fats denser, in turn clogging your arteries. I just gave a very simplistic view. It's all much more complicated than this.
Close, but not quite.

From "What To Eat" by Marion Nestle (highly recommended to anyone who cares about their health):
"...in partial hydrogenation [of vegetable oil], nearly half the polyunsaturated fatty acids remain; the rest are converted to monounsaturated or saturated fatty acids. It is not good to have more saturated fatty acids, because these raise blood cholesterol levels, but partial hydrogenation creates one additional problem: trans fats.

Trans fats are not normal. Hydrogenation causes some of the hydrogens in unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids to flip abnormally from the same side of the carbon chain (in Latin cis) to the opposite side (trans). The normal cis unsaturated fatty acids are flexible, which is why they are liquid; they bend and flow around each other. But the change to trans causes unsaturated fatty acids to stiffen. They behave a lot like saturated fatty acids in the body, where they can raise cholesterol level and increase the risk of heart disease.

...researches have consistently found trans fat to be just as bad -or worse- than saturated fats from the standpoint of heart disease risk."
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Old 07-25-06, 10:54 PM   #23
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I think that that amount of trans fat isn't anything to worry about. I'd be more concerned about the amount of sugar and processed flour than the trans fat.

In my book, trans fat is roughtly comparable to something like butter in the effect it has on you. I think you should be careful that you don't eat too much, but it's not a big deal.

I just had 3 fig newtons on my ride tonight, and I'm not worried. Of course, I did 36 miles and about 1300' of vertical, and likely burned around 1400 calories.
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Old 07-26-06, 04:16 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheebahmunkey
Fig Newman's are a big one. Go to a natural foods store like Whole Foods and look down the cookie aisle. They have a few. At the Whole Foods I go to they also have whole grain fig newton's in bulk.
Unfortunately, Fig Newmans have high fructose corn syrup which I avoid too for the reasons discussed in other threads.

On the cookie issue mentioned, the Publix organic section has cookies which have neither transfats or HFCS, at least they did the last time I checked.

Al
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Old 07-26-06, 04:40 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Mothra
Why's that? Sugar and flour doesn't clog arteries. Sugar and flour are digested into glucose, same as pastas and whole-grain breads, your body doesn't know where the glucose came from. If you have to watch GI and digestion rate, then you've got a whole lot more to worry about, such as eating way too much and/or eating when your muscle's glycogen stores are fully stocked up, forcing additional glucose to be converted to fats instead. But at least that fat is natural.
Lots of sugar and refined flour lead to high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol. Both of which are on the path to Metabolic syndrome, type II diabetes, and higher risk of coronary artery disease.

http://www.webmd.com/hw/health_guide...avbar=hw112708
http://www.webmd.com/content/pages/3/3079_1860.htm

The insulin response increases the conversion of the carbohydrates to triglycerides.

In the case of fig newtons, it probably isn't that bad, since there's also a fair amount of fiber, which will slow the absorption some.

Everything I look at suggests that trans-fats are in the same class as saturated fat. They're certainly something to be limited in your diet, but I don't think they're any worse than the traditional butter and creme. And I think that on a balance, a diet without a lot of simple carbs but with some saturated or trans fat is far healthier than a diet with a lot of sugar and refined starches but no trans or saturated fat.

When you're talking about athletes, things change. High GI carbs are necessary to fuel for exercise and replenish glycogen stores, so eating for competition is different than eating the rest of the time.
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