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The Skinny on Fats

July 25, 2015
Plain English Version


Nothing is good about the word fat. Fat people pose a health risk to themselves. Saturated fats in food increase cholesterol. They are are a cause of heart disease. Saturated fats increased in our diets from 2005 to 2012.

Another group of fats is trans fats. Trans fats come from partially hydrogenated oils. Partially hydrogenated oils were long thought to be healthier. They are formed when liquid oil is treated with hydrogen gas and made solid. They are found in donuts, pizza, frostings, packaged pies, fried and baked good, margarine and other popular foods..

Trans fats are now thought to be enemies of good cholesterol and friends of bad cholesterol.

In 2006, companies were required to list trans fat content on all food labels. As a result, many companies stopped using them. Between 2003 and 2012, consumption of trans fats fell by 78 percent.

Now, the federal Food and Drug Administration does not want trans fats in any food. It has ordered them removed from all foods within the next three years.

Food companies said they already have dramatically reduced the use of  trans fats.

With few exceptions, trans fats will be out of our diets in the next few years.

Unsaturated fats are an exception to the trans fats and saturated fats problems. Unsaturated fats can lower cholesterol and help your heart.


Reading labels is the most important things consumers can do. Check for fats, sodium and sugar.

Source: The New York Times June 16, 2015

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