by Lori Wuellner
The Food and Drug Administration has announced that partially hydrogenated oils, which are the primary dietary source of trans fat, are not “generally recognized as safe” for use in food.
This ruling comes two years after the FDA’s first tentative determination of the same finding and a request for comments on the matter. The FDA has given the food industry until 2018 to stop using partially hydrogenated oils and fats in processed food products.
Why is it important?
Eating partially hydrogenated oils and partially hydrogenated fats is a strong risk factor for getting heart disease, which is the No. 1 cause of death for men and women in the United States. They contribute to the buildup of plaque inside the arteries that may cause a heart attack. Eliminating them from the food supply should prevent thousands of deadly heart attacks each year and fewer people will get heart disease.
Which fats are the most healthful?
Healthful fats and oils are those that have mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, but not much saturated fat. Foods that are high in healthful fats and oils include avocados, oily fish, all nuts and seeds and olives. It is recommended to choose liquid oils made from olives, nuts and seeds, or other liquid oils that contain mostly monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, including canola, safflower, soybean and corn.
Omega-3 fats are a very healthful type of polyunsaturated fat found in oily fish (including herring, salmon, Atlantic and Pacific and jack mackerel, bluefin and white albacore tuna, sardines, trout, Pacific oysters, mussels and anchovies) and in smaller amounts in some other foods. In addition, choose fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheeses and other dairy products. Cook and bake with liquid oils instead of shortenings, butter and lard.
Limit intake of fatty meats that contain saturated fats, such as sausage, franks, bacon and ribs.
Give this summer-friendly recipe a try incorporating tuna and other tasty ingredients.
Lori Wuellner is a Wyandotte County Extension agent, Family and Consumer Sciences, K-State Research and Extension, 1216 N. 79th St., Kansas City, Kan. Telephone 913-299-9300, email email@example.com.
Asian Tuna Dinner Salad
½ cup fresh or frozen asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces, or fresh or frozen green beans
½ teaspoon reduced sodium-soy sauce
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
dash of ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon peanut butter, any kind
1 tablespoon crushed pineapple, drained
3 tablespoons raw diced or shredded carrots
1 tablespoon peanuts, preferably unsalted
3 tablespoons diced cucumber
2 tablespoons tuna canned in water, drained
¼ cup cooked dry beans, any kind (kidney, black, navy, great northern or garbanzo), cooked, without salt, rinsed and drained
¼ cup cooked rice, brown or white
¾ cup torn or chopped fresh salad greens, such as romaine or spinach
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1. Wash your hands and work area.
2. Measure out asparagus. Set aside.
3. Using a fork, stir together soy sauce, ginger, pepper, cilantro, peanut butter and pineapple in a mixing bowl.
4. Stir in carrots and peanuts.
5. Gently stir in cucumber, tuna, cooked dry beans, rice, asparagus and lettuce.
6. Place salad on a dinner plate. Sprinkle with cheese.
7. Serve cold.
8. Cover and refrigerate leftovers within two hours.
Yields: 1 meal/1 serving, about 2 cups
Nutrition Facts per 2 cups: calories- 350, calories from fat- 140, total fat- 16g, saturated fat- 3.5g, cholesterol- 10mg, sodium- 300mg, total carbohydrate- 36g, dietary fiber- 8g, protein- 20g (Source: Vary Your Protein Recipe Series, K-State Research & Extension)
(Source: Mary Meck Higgins, a Kansas State University Associate Professor of Human Nutrition)