I have long talked about trans fat as a calorie distracter. People think “trans fat-free” means “calorie-free” when it most definitely does not. Whatever replaces trans fats will have just as many calories–130 per tablespoon, meaning that each tablespoon is 5% of a day’s average calorie intake. That’s why I either laugh or cry when I see “zero grams trans fat”
on the labels of junk foods. Trans fats raise the risk of heart disease a bit more than do the saturated fats that occur naturally in foods. But trans fats are unnatural and unnecessary and it’s good to get rid of them. Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal explains how food companies are struggling to find replacements that do not increase the amount of saturated fat in processed foods. This, as it turns out, is not so easy to do. I discuss all this in the fats-and-oils chapter of What to Eat, so I’m happy to see the WSJ take it on.
Next public appearance
New Directions in the Fight Against Hunger and Malnutrition: A Festschrift in Honor of Per Pinstrup-Anderson. Cornell University, Statler Hotel Amphitheater. The conference begins at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast and ends with a reception the following day with remarks by professor Pinstrup-Anderson at 2:25 p.m.
My joint contribution with Malden Nesheim is from 1:40-2:00 p.m. on “the internationalization of the obesity epidemic: the case of sugar-sweetened sodas.”