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USDA / HSS 2005 guidelines : "Cut trans!"

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on January 12 2005 issued the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005. They include the following recommendation to consumers:

"Consume 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids and less than 300 mg/day of cholesterol, and keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible."

And they tell the food industry:

"Because trans fatty acids produced in the partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils account for more than 80 percent of total intake, the food industry has an important role in decreasing trans fatty acid content of the food supply."

Speaking at the news conference on the the Guidelines, HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson indicated that the FDA will recommend that daily intake of trans fat should be under 2 grams, or even under 1 gram.

"FDA is currently reviewing what the recommendation is in regards to trans fats ... And we're also looking at FDA to make a further recommendation that may say that it should be less than two, maybe only one. And that recommendation is coming ... Look for further information to come from FDA and the Department of Agriculture in the foreseeable future."

The only way to be sure to achieve such low levels of trans fat intake is to eat no foods containing [partially] hydrogenated oils.

Isn't it a funny thing that the US Government is giving Americans all this sensible advice (in addition to its forthcoming labelling requirement), while the UK Government is, as far as one can reasonably tell, doing absolutely nothing at all?

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