Unravelling Food Label Lingo

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Eating healthy is the best idea, but what happens when you can’t decipher food labels well enough to know if you are making the best choice.

Check out the most common food ingredients to find out what good for you, what’s not and what it all means.

Trans Fats May Fuel Aggressive Behavior

A recent study has found a link between consumption of trans fats and aggressive behavior.

As if the already known health risks were not bad enough this finding is just one more reason to limit trans fats in the diet.

There is already substantial data from many other studies that high trans-fat consumption leads to a variety of poorer health outcomes, including heart disease and certain cancers.

The mean age of the participants was 57 years (range, 45 – 69 years), 68% were male, and 80% were white. The mean trans-fat consumption per day was 3.49 grams (range, 1.02 – 5.96 g/day).

The researchers collected nutrient data using a food frequency questionnaire; they collected information on behavioral acts of aggression toward self, others, and objects, with a variety of validated instruments, including the following:

Overt Aggression Scale Modified – Aggression subscale (OASMa)
Life History of Aggression (LHA)
Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS)
They found that participants who ate more trans fats had higher scores on each of these measures.

New York City has taken the initiative to limit how much trans fat can be used by restaurants.

FDA Food Labeling Makes An Impact

FDA food labeling has a real impact on American’s health.

In a good way!

The research shows just how effective these strategies can be when attempting to change behaviors.

By labeling and banning trans fats a significant, positive change has occurred.

Blood levels of trans fat declined 58 percent from 2000 to 2008. FDA began requiring trans-fat labeling in 2003. During the same period several parts of the country — New York most famously — passed laws limiting trans fats in restaurant food and cooking. The makers of processed food also voluntarily replaced trans fats with less harmful oils.

The decline, unusually big and abrupt, strongly suggests government regulation was effective in altering a risk factor for heart disease for a broad swath of the population.

Illinois to BanTrans Fats

Illinois would be the second state to enact a ban of trans fats if the senate approves the bill and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn does indeed sign it.

California was the first state officially ban the use of trans fats and other cites and municipalities around the country have followed.

Health costs are crippling many state economies and a ban on trans fats is seen as a way to alleviate some of that burden.

The health risks of trans fats are well known and limiting their use could only improve overall health of the population.

Legislation that passed the Illinois House on Wednesday would ban artery-clogging trans fats in food served in restaurants, movie theaters, cafes and bakeries or sold in school vending machines, starting in 2013. School cafeterias would be affected in 2016. Most prepackaged food would not be covered.

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