Fact or Myth: Is Zero Grams Trans Fat on the Label Accurate?

This is a MYTH.

A Nutrition Facts label might state “zero grams trans fat” but that doesn’t mean you aren’t getting any trans fat in your food. How do food manufacturers sneak in the trans fats? Let’s investigate.

trans fatLabeling Laws

Nutrition Facts labels are required by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but the 1990 Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) allows for a margin of error of up to 20%! That means those 100 calories you are consuming could actually be 120 calories. And the same goes for the 20% margin of error on nutrients. The zero grams of trans fat could actually be as much as 0.5 grams of trans fat. Doesn’t seem like enough to kill you, but consider that you’re probably eating more than one serving…and you’re probably eating many different kinds of “trans-fat-free foods” that actually contain 0.5 grams of trans fat, and that amount adds up quick, putting you at risk for heart disease, cancer…you name it!

Trans fats have been proven to clog your arteries, raise your levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol and lower your levels of HDL “good” cholesterol. It’s a double punch to your cardiovascular health, and one that should be avoided at all costs.

Getting Trans Fat Free

Trans fats lurk in baked goods, like pies, cookies, and muffins, chips, fried foods, margarine, creamer, and more. When it comes to checking the labels don’t bother with the nutrient facts. Instead, take a closer look at the ingredient list. If you see hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil hanging out in the ingredients, back away from the product!