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To Your Health

 

Fat

Fats are composed of building blocks called fatty acids.They come from animal fat, and from vegetable and nut oils, and are members of a chemical family called lipids. This section of the label gives the fat total as well as a breakdown of those totals into the percentage of saturated fats and trans fats (a recent addition). Both animal fats and oils are included here.For years, fat was associated with bad health, but we have learned that it is the type of fat in the diet that affects health. Bad fats (saturated fats, trans fats) increase the risk for certain diseases while good fats lower the risk. The label gives the percentage of the daily value. No percentage is given for trans fats as no percentage has been established. Trans fats are a recent addition, based on scientific reports that link them to raising the 'bad' cholesterol (LDL) which is one of the culprits in heart disease.

Omega-3 fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids, prevalent in the fatty fish.

nutrition facts panel

We have learned that these fats are the 'good' fats and are beneficial to the heart. The study of saturated and unsaturated fats is complex. As consumers, we are able to discriminate if we remember that saturated fats are ones to avoid.

Hydrogenation is the process of taking a liquid, unsaturated fat (oil) and solidifying it. In the process, the unsaturated fat becomes saturated. These are trans fatty acids, only recently discovered to be contributors to heart disease. According to current wisdom, these are the ones to avoid.

It is important to remember that the label gives you the amount per serving.

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Complete List of Label Elements:

This material is provided as a general guide, and is not intended as advice. Please contact a physician if you have dietary problems. The FDA may change or alter labels at their discrimination.

 

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