What is the ban on artificial trans fatty acids?
For the sake of the heart health of Americans, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a ruling on June 16, 2015 to gradually remove artificial trans fatty acids from processed foods. Trans fatty acids are naturally found in dairy products and ruminant meat, while artificial trans fatty acids mainly come from industrially produced partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
In the past, partially hydrogenated oils were classified as “recognized safe”. FDA this time rejected this view and set a 3-year adaptation period. After the adaptation period, the addition of partially hydrogenated oils to human foods is prohibited unless otherwise approved.
For consumers, FDA encourages checking the food’s ingredient list for partially hydrogenated oil and reading the nutritional composition list. If the trans fatty acid item is 0, the trans fatty acid content in a food is less than 0.5 g.
There will be no more trans fatty acids in food?
There are two sources of trans fatty acids:
- Natural sources, including milk, contain certain trans fatty acids in many natural foods. Processing sources include hydrogenation, refining and long-term high-temperature frying of vegetable oils. Solid or semi-solid oils converted from oils and fats through hydrogenation are called [hydrogenated oils] or [partially hydrogenated oils].
Reducing part of hydrogenated oil in artificial trans fatty acids is of great significance to health. All kinds of processed foods, baked snacks and fried and puffed snacks are still the main sources of hydrogenated oil consumed by ordinary people.
Is trans fatty acid harmful to what?
A few years ago, there were too many reports on trans fatty acids in the media, and some people described them as: [harm comparable to pesticides] [will cause a diabetes outbreak] [the greatest disaster in the history of human food] “[breast cancer, affecting children’s development]…
In fact, the most significant effect of trans fatty acids is to increase LDL-C (commonly known as [bad cholesterol]) and increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, which is the most sufficient evidence.
The FDA’s ban is also said to be responsible for the heart health of Americans.
Evidence of trans fatty acids such as increasing cancer risk and cognitive function is not sufficient. As for the relationship between trans fatty acids and diabetes and cancer risks, it is still uncertain based on the existing evidence.
Therefore, in order to avoid the risk of excessive intake of trans fatty acids, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the daily energy supply of trans fatty acids be controlled below 1%, that is, about 2 grams.
If we consider the intake level of trans fatty acids in the Chinese population, I personally suggest that the attitude towards trans fatty acids should be [minimize, but not shadow].
Do Chinese Need to Worry about Trans Fatty Acids?
In 2013, the National Committee of Experts on Food Safety Risk Assessment also released < < Dietary Intake Level of Trans Fatty Acids and Its Risk Assessment of Chinese Residents > >.
Overall, the intake of trans fatty acids is not serious. According to the food intake data in 2011, the national average intake of trans fatty acids is 0.39 g/day and the urban average is 0.52 g/day, which is far lower than the standard of 2 g.
In addition, with the implementation of the General Principles of Labeling in prepackaged foods and the role of health education after 2013, many enterprises have begun to pay attention to reducing the content of trans fatty acids, so I believe residents’ intake should be reduced.
At present, the increase in the consumption of total oil and fat in the population may have a greater level of damage to health, which cannot be underestimated.
Which foods contain trans fatty acids?
Sandwich biscuits, crisp biscuits, cream cakes, French fries, fried chicken, fried dough sticks and so on are considered to have higher risks of trans fatty acids in the domestic diet.
Chocolate candy trans fatty acid content is up to 0.89 g per 100g; Vegetable oil is followed by baked food, condiments and oil cakes and fried dough sticks, which are between 0.30 and 0.50 grams per 100g.
In the future, the food industry needs to promote the new process of vegetable oil refining and reduce the content of trans fatty acids on the premise of ensuring the coordination of the proportion of various fatty acids.
Is [Zero Trans Fatty Acid] a Liar?
It should be noted that there is a concept of  boundary value.
In the United States, trans fatty acid can be marked as 0 within 0.5 g per portion of food, while in China, 100 g (solid) or 100 mL (liquid) less than or equal to 0.3 g can be marked [no or no trans fatty acid].
As far as my observation in the supermarket is concerned, except for some candies and milk powder, I can hardly find the situation that the trans fatty acid content is not 0.
This labeling specification is helpful to promote food enterprises to improve their technologies, such as using palm oil instead of hydrogenated vegetable oil. However, as long as consumers need mellow and crisp taste, the intake of saturated fatty acids is often indispensable.