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June 19, 2013

READERS' FORUM: June 19, 2013

Nutrition info falling short

Since July 11, 2003, the FDA allowed manufacturers to label in the Nutrition Facts section on packages 0 trans fats if the serving size contains 0.5 grams or less of trans fats.

Unfortunately for people with cardiovascular or other health problems and watching to reduce or avoid cholesterol, fat or trans fat intakes can no longer trust the information on packages. Besides, when serving sizes are reduced, people consume larger portions believing they are getting no trans fat in their diet. Unknowingly people are aggravating their cardiovascular and other health problems and not even realizing it. When people eat several meals and snacks during the day, they can end up eating large amounts of trans fats while believing they are getting no trans fats in their diet.

It is better if people check the ingredients on packages. If the list of ingredients contains partially hydrogenated oil or hydrogenated oil, the product contains trans fats. It is not good enough to accept having no trans fat in the Nutrition Facts as a guideline.

Another frightful thing is there is no requirement to list trans fats on institutional food packaging. Bulk purchasers such as schools, hospitals and cafeterias are unable to evaluate the trans fat content of commercial food items.

Anyone taking the responsibility to watch their diets, cholesterol and fat intake, especially for health reasons, needs accurate information on packages.

— Charles Bean

Terre Haute

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