T Nation

Trans fatty acids of death should/will the manufactueres ever pay?

Reading some statistics on various sites leads one to believe that contrary to media/popular/doctor belief that saturated fats are killers and that cholesterol will kill ya, its actually the trans fatty acids found in MOST of the foods found in a regular supermarket chains that are causing the increase in the rise of heart disease as the cause of death among us. Sorry for that long sentence… Most of us here know that diet is THE most important aspect of our pursuit of a healthy and strong life, yes smoking is bad, yes drinking is bad, but is anything really worse then the combination of consuming trans fatty acids and limiting healthy fats? And if not then should the food industry be held accountable as the cigarette industry was/is/will be? Think about it… you go to buy some healthy peanuts and you get em roasted in soybean oil (trans fatty acids), you buy some girl scout cookies and you get 4 times the amount of trans fatty acids as in regular cookies, you buy regular cookies and you get those bad fats. You buy some lunchables and you get bad fats, you buy peanut butter, or damn near anything on the shelves and you get the bad fats. Cigarette smokers chose to smoke ems, true they may have been misled as to the dangers of em or the addictive properties but nonetheless they chose to smoke em. Where as what choice does a person have going to the supermarket in buying foods? Things are labeled, low in fat, reduces cholesterol, and heart healthy based on fairly silly criteria (like amount of sat fat per serving). Damn it I’m just rambling here, but you guys understand my point right? or am I being overly dramatic? when is this bs gonna change? when can I go to the supermarket and not have to look at product after product filled with soy, trans fatty acids or high amounts of processed carbs just waiting to screw me over out of a long healthy life… Sometimes I wonder who is right… the billion dollar corps or the little guy fringe sites, maybe the little guy is just bashing em cuz there insane or something… gah I dunno.

It is unfortunate that most companies cannot be forthright with their labelling. The meat industry does not have to label meat, although this should change in the near future. As far as I know (I will check my Nutrition Action Newsletter), trans fat will not have to be labelled until 2007 at the earliest.

The food industry is not out to help us. All we can do is educate ourselves and our friends and try to help each other out on the forum.

Should the food industry be held liable for misleading people?

I don't know. Maybe.

Dood, watch it with those long sentences, i will not tolerate that again. Just kidding.

I think a lot about these things too. We still have choices, as long as we chose to learn and not be ignorant like everybody else. To tell you the truth i dont really care about what everyone else eats anynore. What pisses me off is when i try telling my closest friends about how most of what they eat is garbage and they just laugh at me!! They just say i’m obsessed with my health and bodybuilding, etc… This is true to some extent but that’s a whole different subject.

I guess the only thing you can do is try to help those who will listen, and most people wont because they dont care enough about their body to do anything for it. What’s really fucked is that we’ll have to pay for millions in avoidable health expenses, wich wouldn’t be there if people weren’t so lazy.

I guess i think the people are more to blame than the manufacters, i mean they dont really force feed you do they?

Q: since trans fats are not labeled, what can I look for to check for their content ? What things should I avoid like the plague when I look at ingredient lists ?? Thanks!!

I can relate to what restless is saying. All the time I see my roommates eating trans-fat PB, processed cheese, chips fried in trans fats, and they even butter their bread with trans-fat margarine. When I try to tell them how bad that stuff is though, they just laugh at me. The public as a whole doesn’t know anything about the dangers of trans-fats, in fact most people think if they aren’t fat then they’re healthy. I think the first step has to be getting Trans-Fats on food labels, then at least everyone couldn’t plead ignorance.

Avoid like the plague any foods with any ingrediants listed as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated or any foods commercially fried or deep fat fried (ie chips, most junk food, french fries, etc). The hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats have already been purposely converted to transfats to increase shelf life and the high heat of frying or deep fat frying foods in oil causes some of the oil to convert to transfats, etc.

The big no-nos are margerine & anything fried, but you’re also getting them in store baked goods or processed foods. Stick to home-cooked meats, fruits & veggies, raw nuts, olive oil, beans, eggs, dairy, etc. & you’re safe. Basically cook your own food.

Zippy the way I do it is… look at the ingredients such as: partialy hydrogenated vegetable oils, hydrogenated vegetable oils, soybean oils, corn oils… there are probably a bunch more, basically fatty oils made from plants under some kind of a synthetic manufacturing process aren’t all that good for ya. Also (and correct me if I’m wrong guys) that vegetable oil (made from soybean oil if I remmember the labels correctly or at least from the one I had in my kitchen) is bad… so don’t cook with it instead stick with olive oil. Once you start looking at the lables you’ll be like: wtf they all have it! And as far as telling your friends about the dangers… if I do they usually listen to me (I’ve gotten one mother to stop feeding her kid soy “ribs” and “bacon”) but only if it doesn’t take much effort on their part. My biggest problem is that not only do they feed us crap and tell it us it is good for us, but they tell us what is good for us is crap. How many of us have father’s who take those cholesterol reducing pills? (my father does) who will he believe is right? the kid who needed him to change diapers due to inability to control one’s pooping mechanism or his doctor?

I’m a bastard. I was just talking out of my ass on the above post. Sorry. But in martial arts we beat our shins with bamboo to toughen them. My shins are all rough now.

Jason N: Yeah, Nutrition Action Newsletter. I was going to post a question asking if anyone reads this. I find it to be a excellent source of nutrition information. Especially the layman. Lots of good stuff in them pages. I’ve kept my copies from 4-5 years ago and find myself referring back to them every so often!

Hey, nothing beats food at it's natural best. We try to steer away from pre-packaged crap as much as possible in our home. Yes, you may need to go grocery shopping more often, however, it's worth it. No guessing games. As for the margarine over butter. I pick butter anyday. Best for cooking, baking, etc. Ko gets the natural peanut butter (the stuff you grind yourself), even.

Is there any way to tell how many grams of trans-fats are in there? Say on the label total fat is 9g and sat fat is 2g, is there any way to tell if all the rest is transfats or monosaturated or a combination? it says there’s the ‘partially hydrogenated oil’ in it so i know theres some, but how much? anyone help me?

Thanks, all. That helps. I only found a couple in my kitchen, as I have been trying real hard to stick to “whole” foods. But, I have this thing for those filled tortollini (sp?). Guess they’re out. Partially hydrogenated soybean oil… Dammit…

Guess it’s time to break out the old pasta maker for some decent pasta for lunch… Just plain old semolina flour (this is Ok, right ?) and eggs, then boiled… little olive oil for flavour, and that’s it :slight_smile:

[ yes, I am having some protein with it :slight_smile: ]


DK from looking at lables I made these assumptions: trans fatty acids are both mono and poly (since soybean oil or what not has both in it listed on the labels) had no sat fat in it. THEREFORE!!! (as my chem teacher used to shout out…) you subtract the sat fat grams from the total fat grams to get the trans fatty acids. I could be generalyzing and what not but… think of it this way there is enough to cause a big climb in death due to heart disease over the last 1000 years (I believe that it was from 8% to 39%) and now I’m over simplyfying…

That is an excellent point. Heart disease is the number one killer in america- not lung cancer. The whole point of the cigarette tax is to pay for the hospital bills. Why not do it with junk food? You know the shit is addictive, too. The government should start taxing foods with too much trans and saturated fat in them to help pay for all the fuckers who get heart attacks from life long bad eating habits. Sounds crazy doesn’t it?
Makes sense, though.

As of right now, there is no way to know how much trans fatty acids there are in any given product. Both monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats can be healthy and are essential. You cannot just assume that these fats are trans fats. All you can do is avoid all the terms (Heb covered them very well) and try not to eat processed foods. If you are going to eat fat, stick with the healthy fat choices. I think that there are enough threads that have these listed.

I understand what you are saying Jason, what I ment was… if you wanted to guess and if you know that you could and probably are misjudging you could do my crazed half logical subraction dealie. Also lets face it… not like the food industry that is feeding us these bad fats is after making us healthier… so hell I believe that assuming that there is more bad fats in junk food (or really any processed food these days) then good fats would be the right direction to go in when looking at labels.

Question about some things that I like to make around the house, and what everyone’s opinion of them are:

  • home made bread - Generally wheat, 10-grain, or potato bread. They are baked in a bread machine, and it’s really convenient, but is it Ok as a source of carbs ?

  • home made pasta - I have semolina flour and eggs, and a pasta roller/slicer. I can make all kinds of pasta. It’s nice to have at lunch for carbs. I could also use standard white flour, but that’s not as good, right ?

  • basically any meat in a corn tortilla with some home made salsa, a la a “soft taco”. Are corn tortilla’s Ok for carbs ?

  • salsa -> fresh tomatoes, tomatillos (sp?), a bunch of roasted dried peppers, some onion, some cilantro, and maybe some random spices. This is fine anytime ?? It’s good on eggs, tacos, etc.

    Was wondering if these are Ok things to eat regularly ?