FDA May Formally Ban Trans Fats

Posted 12/10/2013 | By HealthCorps

Currently a food can have a label that states it has “zero trans fats” when in fact it can contain up to 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.  The only way to know if a food is truly trans fat free is to also examine the ingredients, to make sure there are no partially hydrogenated oils or PHOs.

Which foods notoriously have trans fats?  Cookies, microwave popcorn, crackers, pizza, cakes, muffins, pie crusts, hamburger buns, some margarines, pre-mixed cake, pancake and chocolate drink mixes, fried foods like donuts, French fries, chicken nuggets, some granolas, hard taco shells, chips, and certain frozen dinners.

Whole Foods’ supermarkets, already ban trans fats; certain fast food restaurants like McDonalds also voluntarily stopped using trans fats.   But until the FDA makes a formal determination, you need to be vigilant and read labels carefully, even if they advertise zero grams of trans fat.

Here’s a yummy “trans fat-free and sugar-free” granola recipe from Yummly. Even though it is sugar free and made from nutrient dense ingredients, granolas are typically high in calories, so use it as a topping on cereal or yogurt, or to top off muffins.

Ingredients:

1 cup dates (chopped)
1 cup water
8 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 cups shredded coconut
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup apple juice concentrate (frozen apple juice concentrate thawed)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the dates and water. Cook stirring occasionally until the mixture forms a thick paste. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, walnuts, raisins, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, and coconut. Spread out in a thin layer onto a baking sheet. If your baking sheet is small, this can be done in batches.
  3. Bake for 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly toasted. Transfer the mixture back into the bowl, and mix in the date paste, apple juice concentrate, and oil. Return to the baking sheet and bake for an additional 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until lightly browned. Granola will become more crispy as it cools. Store in an airtight container.
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