By Dr. Ayotunde Adeyeri
The Food and Drug Administration recently announced it is beginning a process that will take artificial trans fats entirely out of the food supply. This move is correctly being hailed as “lifesaving” by health experts. A recent USA Today report included a statement from the food industry saying that since 2005 manufacturers have already lowered trans fats in products by more than 73%.
Today, the FDA says, 12% of all packaged foods contain trans fats. These food groups include many widely-consumed products such as candies, frying oils, baked goods, microwave popcorn and other snacks, stick and tub margarine and coffee creamers. It’s important to note in nutrition facts panels on food labels that trans fats may be listed as partially hydrogenated oils.
Numerous studies have shown that consumption of trans fats can cause many adverse health risks, including elevating bad cholesterol (LDL), lowering good cholesterol (HDL) and increasing the potential for developing type 2 diabetes. Small amounts of trans fats occur naturally in some meat and dairy products but it is not known if naturally occurring trans fats have the same negative effects.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 5,000 Americans die every year from heart disease because of artificial trans fats found in food. While an FDA rule, in force since 2006, requires food companies to list trans fats on nutrition labels, it’s still often confusing to understand which foods are good – or bad – for us.
Fortunately, for individuals who have serious weight-related health problems, weight loss surgery and ongoing support have proven to be effective in overcoming obesity when combined with nutrition and lifestyle counseling. Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, can help these individuals with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or sleep apnea, or who have been unsuccessful losing weight on their own, to achieve their goals of better health.
Dr. Adeyeri is a board-certified and fellowship-trained laparoscopic, bariatric and general surgeon and serves as medical director of the Institute for Weight Loss at Raritan Bay Medical Center. The Institute provides individualized medical and surgical solutions and support for individuals seeking weight loss, including nutrition and lifestyle counseling. For more information or to attend a free bariatric surgery seminar, call 855.TIME.4.ME.
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