Blamed as a key dietary culprit in causing heart disease, trans fats are getting kicked all the way to the curb. Best Food Facts Nutrition Advisor, Carolyn O’Neil, MS RD dishes up insight from nutrition experts on the issue of trans fats.
What are trans fats anyway? The American Heart Association says, “Trans fats (or trans fatty acids) are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.” They are used because they are easy to handle, inexpensive to produce, they have a great shelf life and they create a great taste and texture as a food ingredient.
The Food and Drug Administration has taken an initial step to ban trans fats. This means that any trans fats that are artificially created will be off the menu and out of our food for good. Why does that matter, and what does it mean for our food? We asked the experts.
If the FDA decides trans fats will not be allowed as an ingredient in foods anymore, what would that mean for the foods we love?
Researchers in Mississippi recently tested chicken nuggets from two national fast food chains. They took one nugget from each restaurant and examined the ingredients. The result was that about half of the nuggets were muscle with the rest a mix of fat, blood vessels and nerves. Close inspection revealed cells that line the skin or internal organs. The second was 40 percent muscle and the remainder was fat, cartilage and pieces of bone.
Is this unusual? Is it a safety concern? We took these questions and others to Dr. Casey M. Owens at the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas.
We received an inquiry from a Best Food Facts reader about “functional fibers” that are being added to foods. There are reports that inulin, a popular food additive, can cause gastrointestinal discomfort if over-ingested.
We spoke with Dr. Joanne Slavin, a professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota, to find out more.
Recently, Best Food Facts received a reader question. Shelly asked, "I see Facebook pages of people advocating against GMOs but promoting the use of protein shakes. What’s in them and are they healthy?" We asked nationally-renowned nutrition and fitness expert Dr. Liz Applegate, Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of California-Davis, to answer the questions.
What is your favorite pumpkin-flavored food item? Take our latest poll!
Best Food Facts received a reader question asking, "Does eating soy negatively impact our health?" To answer this question, we reached out to Barbara Klein, PhD, Professor Emerita of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In the old cowboy Westerns, you could always tell the good guy from the bad guy by his white button-down shirt. Recently, a similar guideline has been applied to many of the foods that we once enjoyed. This time though, the new "bad guy" in town, an alleged less-nutritious option, now wears white: white bread, white pasta and white sugar. In reality, it takes more than a glance at a food’s color to determine whether something is inherently healthier.
Unless your shopping trip to the grocery store is limited to the far perimeter aisles, there is a good chance your diet contains some form of processed food. So are processed foods bad for you?
Summer is coming to an end - so get your ice cream fix now. And while you're at it, check out this video on how ice cream treats come into their deliciousness!
Have you ever heard that you can freeze olive oil to see if it's real? Recently, we received a reader question asking “Should all olive oil freeze (or harden) in the refrigerator? A comment was made on the Dr. Oz show stating that, if it does not freeze, it has been altered. My extra virgin oil stayed liquid in the refrigerator.”
If you rinse off deli meat to remove sodium, is it more healthy? To answer this question, we reached out to Dr. Casey Owens, Associate Professor in the Department of Food Science and member of the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science, University of Arkansas.
If you have questions about dairy, Best Food Facts experts can help. They’ve tackled some of the most common dairy myths to help separate fact from fiction.