One of the most researched villains in the food world in recent years has been trans fats. Scientists and dietitians have been outspoken in warning the public about the detrimental effects of the artery-clogging lipids.
However, nutrition experts at the University of Alberta are saying that there is a big difference between the naturally derived trans fats found in meat and dairy products and the kind that is the result of a process called hydrogenation.
Hydrogenated oils are commonly found in packaged baked goods and fried foods because the fat helps increase the shelf life of a product. These types of trans fat have been linked to cardiovascular problems and high cholesterol. In contrast, ruminant trans fats found in meat and dairy have not been shown to pose the same risks when consumed in moderation.
As a result, researchers are calling for more specific food labeling for trans fat content.
"Right now, in Canada and the U.S., a substantial portion of natural trans fats content is included in the nutrition label trans fats calculation, which is misleading for the consumer. We need a reset in our approach to reflect what the new science is telling us," said study author Spencer Proctor.