New research from USDA suggests that reformulating products to remove or reduce trans fats has not led to large increases in saturated fat content in foods.
A new report by UDSA’s Economic Research Service addresses concerns that firms are potentially replacing one problem with another when they home in on eliminating individual ‘undesirable’ ingredients.
For example, many observers point out that partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (key sources of trans fats) are often replaced by palm oil blends that are high in saturated fat - another (almost as) undesirable nutrient.
You can lower trans and saturated fats
However, analysis of products that have been reformulated to reduce or remove trans fats suggests that this is not necessarily the case, say authors Ilya Rahkovsky, Steve Martinez, and Fred Kuchler.
“Some have suggested that products reformulated to reduce trans fats content to qualify for a claim would include higher levels of unhealthy nutrients such as sugar, saturated fat, or sodium…
“However, we find that in all categories except sweet spreads, the products with trans fats [also] have more saturated fats and more calories than the products without trans fats.
“This finding is consistent with that of Mozaffarian, Jacobson, and Greenstein (2010) who found that among major brand-name US supermarket products reformulated to reduce their trans fats content, 52 of 58 ended up with lower levels of both trans fats and saturated fats.”
Click here to read the report.