I was talking about superfoods on the syndicated One Life Radio the day after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled that partially hydrogenated oils, our primary source of trans fats, should be removed from the human food supply. There’s nothing super about trans fats. This unhealthy ingredient, once very common in processed food, has been shown to increase heart disease risk. Many manufacturers have already switched to Malaysian sustainable palm oil. The program was the perfect opportunity to explain why palm oil is a great replacement for trans fats.
The push to replace trans fats began in 2003. That is when the FDA required manufacturers to include trans fat content on nutrition labels within three years. The need to reveal this manufactured ingredient stimulated the first trans fat-replacement wave. A popular substitute is naturally trans fat-free Malaysian sustainable palm oil. Its high smoke point makes it stable for use at high temperatures. It also delivers a rich and creamy taste and texture without the need for hydrogenation. This non-GMO oil is also naturally resistant to spoilage.
The FDA’s latest ruling forces manufacturers to remove the largest source of trans fats by June 2018. You’ll probably see more products switch over to better-for-you palm oil. Most of the United States sustainable palm oil comes from Malaysia, a country known for its sustainable agricultural practices.
If you’d like to remove trans fats from your diet today, you’ll need to read your food product’s ingredient list. If you see the word ‘hydrogenated’, the product probably contains trans fats. FDA labeling laws allow a product to declare itself trans fat free if it contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fats per serving. Small amounts can add up, especially since most people consume more than the labeled portion size. If the product lists palm oil as an ingredient, chances are it is trans fat-free.
Learn more about oils and fats in my Truth about Fats post. I reveal what you need to know about fats – including when to use olive oil and when you shouldn’t – to help keep your body operating at its best.