The FDA is finally stepping up to remove trans fat from a list of chemicals known as GRAS – or generally recognized as safe. This morning, the Food and Drug Administration opened up a 60-day public call for comments, scientific data, and other information they can use to help guide their decision to issue an all-out ban on trans fat, also known as partially hydrogenated oil.
“Based on new scientific evidence and the findings of expert scientific panels, the [FDA] has tentatively determined that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), which are the primary dietary source of industrially-produced trans fatty acids, or trans fat, are not generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for any use in food based on current scientific evidence establishing the health risks associated with the consumption of trans fat, and therefore that PHOs are food additives,” says the formal announcement made by the agency.
If this is finalized, the FDA says “food manufacturers would no longer be permitted to sell PHOs.”
That’s news that has the dietetic community happy as heart-healthy clams. We reached out to several thought leaders from the dietetic community to hear their reactions to the trans fat ban news first.
Those foods are suspect, not only because of the link between trans fats and cardiovascular disease, but because of wide-reaching inflammation from a host of artificial products. This could give people a reminder to eat real food. — Mary Hartley, RD, our resident nutrition expert and a NYC-based dietitian
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Hemp does give a damn about its bad reputation. This particularly trusty strain of Cannabis has been besmirched by its illicit cousin marijuana, a cultivar of Cannabis that is smoked for recreational purposes. Hemp has a microscopic and harmless amount of THC—the chemical in marijuana that gets you high—and has an extremely versatile skill set.
From nutritious foodstuffs to composite plastics for automobiles, hemp can be used for more than kitschy, hippy jewelry. In addition to its wide range of applications, the hemp crop is easily cultivated; its water and soil purification properties help to renew farm fields and can even kill weeds. Unfortunately, industrial hemp has been illegal to grow in the U.S. since 1958—save Colorado, of course—and can only be enjoyed legally by importing hemp products from Canada or other parts of the world.
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By Len Saunders, MA
Children may be away from school and locked into summer mode, but July and August may be a great time to teach them about proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle through the USDA’s MyPlate.
As informative as the old MyPyramid used to be, quite honestly, it made nutrition a task to understand for most children. From their point of view, what does a pyramid have to do with food or nutrition? MyPlate does put it into perspective for kids at a level they can understand. They look at the plate, and see the food groups laid out for them in a form of a pie chart, distributing the percentages of the foods needed daily. For children, sometimes simple and basic is more effective to get a message across to prepare them for a healthy future.
Respected author and creator of the Zone Diet, Dr. Barry Sears agrees. “The earlier dietary habits are instilled in children, the longer they last.”
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