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Trans Fat In Meat And Dairy

About half of America’s trans fat intake now comes from animal products.

June 28, 2013 |
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Supplementary Info

Sources Cited

B. A. Golomb, M. A. Evans, H. L. White, J. E. Dimsdale. Trans fat consumption and aggression. PLoS ONE 2012 7(3):e32175

I. Laake, J. I. Pedersen, R. Selmer, B. Kirkhus, A. S. Lindman, A. Tverdal, M. B. Veierod. A prospective study of intake of trans-fatty acids from ruminant fat, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, and marine oils and mortality from CVD. Br. J. Nutr. 2012 108(4):743 - 754

D. Doell, D. Folmer, H. Lee, M. Honigfort, S. Carberry. Updated estimate of trans fat intake by the US population. Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess 2012 29(6):861 - 874

E. J. Brandt. Deception of trans fats on Food and Drug Administration food labels: A proposed revision to the presentation of trans fats on food labels. Am J Health Promot 2011 25(3):157 - 158

National Academies Press (U.S.). Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients). Washington, D.C: National Academies Press, 2003.

D. Mozaffarian, M. B. Katan, A. Ascherio, M. J. Stampfer, W. C. Willett. Trans Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease. N Engl J Med. 2006 354(15):1601-1613

FDA. 2011. Food Labeling; Trans Fatty Acids in Nutrition Labeling; Consumer Research Consider Nutrient Content and Health Claims and Possible Footnote or Disclosure Statements; Final Rule and Proposed Rule.

USDA. Fat and Fatty Acid Content of Selected Foods Containing Trans-Fatty Acids ARS. Nutrient Data Laboratory.

M. Fox. 2002. Report Recommends Limiting Trans-Fats in Diet. 
Reuters, July 10.



Acknowledgements

Images thanks to Mr Miyagi via Flickr and Ben Mills and Benjah-bmm27 via Wikimedia Commons.

Transcript

Trans fats are bad, increasing one's risks of heart disease, sudden death, and diabetes. Even, perhaps, aggression. Trans fat intake has been associated with overt aggressive behavior, impatience, and irritability.

Trans fats are basically found only one place in nature, animal fat. The food industry, however, found a way to synthetically create these toxic fats by hardening vegetable oil in a process called hydrogenation, which rearranges their atoms to make them behave more like animal fats. Although most of America's trans fat intake has traditionally come from processed foods containing partially-hydrogenated oils, a fifth of the trans fats in the American diet used to come from animal products, 1.2 grams out of the 5.8 total consumed daily. But now that trans fat labeling has been mandated, and places like New York City have banned the use of partially hydrogenated oils, the intake of industrial-produced trans fat is down to about 1.3, so that means now about 50% of America's trans fats come from animal products.

According to the official USDA nutrient database, cheese, milk, yogurt, burgers, chicken fat, turkey meat, bologna, and hot dogs contain up to about 1 to 5 % trans fats. They also found small amounts of trans fats in non-hydrogenated vegetable oils due to steam deodorisation or stripping during the refining process.
Is getting a few percent trans fats a problem, though? The most prestigious scientific body in the United States, the National Academies of Science, concluded that the only safe intake of trans fats is zero. In their report condemning trans fats they couldn't even assign a Tolerable Upper Daily Limit of intake because "any incremental increase in trans fatty acid intake increases coronary heart disease risk."

There's been controversy, though, as to whether the trans fats naturally found in animal products are as bad as the synthetic fats in partially hydrogenated junk food. The latest study supports the notion that trans fat intake, irrespective of source—animal or industrial, increases cardiovascular disease risk, especially, it appears, in women. 

“Because trans fats are unavoidable on ordinary, non-vegan diets, getting down to zero percent trans fats would require significant changes in patterns of dietary intake.” One of the authors of the report, the Director of Harvard's Cardiovascular Epidemiology Program famously explained why—despite this—they didn't recommend a vegan diet: “We can't tell people to stop eating all meat and all dairy products," he said. "Well, we could tell people to, become vegetarians," he added. "If we were truly basing this only on science, we would, but it is a bit extreme."  Wouldn’t want scientists basing anything on science now would we? "Nevertheless," the report concludes, "it is recommended that trans fatty acid consumption be as low as possible while consuming a nutritionally adequate diet."

Even eating vegan, though, there's a loophole in labeling regulations, which allows foods with trans fats that contain .5 grams per serving to be listed as having, you guessed it, zero grams of trans fat. This labeling is misguiding the public by allowing foods to be labeled as ‘‘trans fat free’’ when they are, in fact, not. So to avoid all trans fats, avoid meat and dairy, refined oils, and anything that says partially hydrogenated in the ingredients list regardless of what it says on the Nutrition Facts label.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Ariel Levitsky.

To help out on the site please email volunteer@nutritionfacts.org.

Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

More on trans fat can be found in my videos Blocking the First Step of Heart Disease and Breast Cancer Survival and Trans Fat.

There may also be no safe intake of dietary cholesterol, which underscores the importance of reducing animal product consumption. See my video Trans Fat, Saturated Fat, and Cholesterol: Tolerable Upper Intake of Zero. Speaking of which, I'm going to be addressing the role of saturated fat and declining sperm counts in my next video, Male Fertility and Diet. 

While unrefined oils such as extra virgin olive should not contain trans fats, to boost the absorption of carotenoids in your salad why not add olives themselves or whole food sources of fat such as nuts or seeds? Other videos on oils include:

For more context, check out my associated blog post: Trans Fat in Animal Fat.

If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

  • Mark

    Very true on the labelling…
    LOL, “If we were to base this only on science…”

  • stevebillig

    What a great demonstration of the power of disclosure to a well educated population. Doing the math, it appears that the FDA’s requirement that trans fat content be disclosed on nutrition labels contributed to a 72% reduction in consumption of trans fats in the US.

    No wonder Monsanto is running scared over GMO labeling.

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/ Michael Greger M.D.

      Knowledge is power! The FDA estimated that revealing the trans fat on labels would save between 2,000 and 5,600 lives a year.

  • Merio

    Very interesting… but i got a question: there is a way to mitigate the deleterious effect of this fats? For example if i eat a meal with a portion of trans fats(for example if i go to MC Drive) and at the same time eat a lot of veggies(lettuce, carrots, broccoli etc) i reduce the damage, or not?

    • sheof

      No. That’s like saying you can drink water with poop in it if you add more water to it.

      • Merio

        i think it is more difficult than that… example: we know that fiber is good for us and accelerate the food transit in the intestine so if i eat a peace of meat and a salad, the meat will remain for less time than without salad… so its deleterious effect would be decreased… am i wrong?

        Maybe for trans fat you’re right because are really not suitable for human diet but also for other substances matter the amount… IMHO…

        Anyway thanks for the answer!!

        • Coacervate

          Hi Merio, a lot of my friends look for loopholes just as you do. I don’t think you’ll find too many people here to help with that. You could try doing my trick… only cheat yourself rarely, acknowledge and enjoy the feast, then go on living a healthy lifestyle. How many feasts per year do you require to be happy? The weird part happens when the healthy food becomes your indulgence!

          • Merio

            Great post!! Now i’m trying to manage my skin problem(atopic dermatitis) and maybe i finally found the solution(99% vegan plant base diet)… but it’s early to talk(i see the first results just in these days)… my family isn’t really happy of my choice and does not want to get informed as me… but your reply is really helpful… i think that in other words it’s not the exception that kills, but the day habit… Thanks.

            P.S.

            I cited MC Donald before… well, in my entire life i ate there only 15 times… it is my house the problem :-)

        • d1stewart

          If you can tilt your consumption in whole from a heavy meat and dairy proportion toward a heavy starch, vegetable, and fruit proportion and much less meat and dairy, it is mitigating. The less meat and dairy and more starch, vegetable, and fruit, the better. Get the animal foods down to zero and you’ll be best off, most likely.

          But plant foods are not antidotes you can just ADD to a diet of animal foods and/or transfats, without changing the amount of animal foods. If you eat a porterhouse steak nightly, you won’t improve your health by adding a cup of arugula to your meal while still eating the porterhouse steak nightly.

          • Merio

            You’re right… i’m near to accomplish that result… the problem is mantain the vegan regime through the time… sooner or later i will win over my temptations…
            Thanks for the answer!

  • Sarah

    Can you please comment on a recent study of trans-palmitoleic acid?
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23407305

    • Joe

      There are likely differences between synthetic trans fat and the natural trans fats. A drop in diabetic markers is a good thing – but personally I wouldn’t take that as a green light because of the raising of LDL and the industrial pollutants that come with most dairy products.

      I think there could be a lot tied up in the oxidation of fats that we don’t know about yet.

  • elsie blanche

    Dr. Greger, do the studies highlighting the bad effects of the trans-fats in meat and dairy analyze raw meat and dairy, or in cooked form? What do you think about all the carnivorous creatures out there that consume raw meat, in the wild (there, apparently, are some humans in this category)? Might they be susceptible to these damaging “trans fats” sources, or does raw in any way lend itself to these trans fats being harmless? I can’t help but wonder what the negative effects on trans fats that are cooked are vs. raw. Maybe these fats don’t even exist in raw form?

  • basskills

    is there trans fat in nuts and seeds?

    • http://macsmiley.tumblr.com/ MacSmiley

      No. Plants do not create intrinsic trans fats. Overheating bottled polyunsaturated oils, however, may create trans fats. Dr. Greger endorses whole food sources of healthy plant fatty acids (with the exception of an algal DHA supplement) instead of commercial free oils.

  • Plantstrongdoc MD

    OH yes – to tell the public to go vegetarian or vegan is extreme – to get coronary heart bypass surgery is not extreme !? To get anaesthetized, to get your chest cut open, to get your heart stopped, to get a fragile vein
    inserted, to get minor brain damage is not extreme !? To get breastcancer, to get mastectomy, to get radiation therapy, to get chemotherapy, to get minor brain damage is not extreme !? To get prostatecancer, to get prostectomy, to get impotent, to get incontinent is not extreme !? BULL SHIT !!! Leave people with a choice. Inform the public. NOW.

    • blackbart

      You mean propagandize the public? If animal proteins and fats were so bad, how did the native non-western people do so well on that sort of diet? With a general absence of all the problems you mentioned, while eating lots of meat and animal fat. I’m thinking of the Inuit, Masai, Plain’s Indian, etc etc ad nauseum. You should check out the Weston A. Price Foundation. Because you may be wrong. http://www.westonaprice.org/about-the-foundation/healthy-4-life

  • Justin Marchegiani

    What software did you use to make this video? I really like it!

  • Zak

    I’ve been about 80% paleo for a little over a year now.

    Since I started Paleo I dropped about 10-15 pounds, I’m below 10% body fat. My blood pressure is about 110/50. My triglycerides (bad cholesterol) dropped 41%. My HDL (good cholesterol) went up 26%.

    I used to limit my consumption of meat, eggs, bacon and fats or feel guilty if I ate too much of them.

    Now I eat meat, eggs, bacon and (good) fats without restriction or worries and my markers for good health and heart disease risk IMPROVED dramatically in a year.

    We’ve been sold the lowfat, multi-grain diet for about 30 years now but the health of Americans has been deteriorating dramatically over those 30 years. Obseity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiac disease, cancer and a myriad of other diet related health problems are increasing at epidemic levels

    • Sarah

      I do not believe that many true nutrition researchers recommend nearly as much grains as we have been sold. As for the health of the country, the deteriorating health is NOT caused by a low-fat, multi-grain diet. It is caused by a high fat, white bread, McDonalds diet.

      • blackbart

        Sarah, you should research grains a little more, all grains, before you give them a pass. Hint: google ‘grains anti nutrient’

    • BPCveg

      Wow…fascinating results Zak! You may, in fact, be well on your way to overturning age-old nutritional dogma. You are almost there… for validation purposes we just require a few more pieces of information, including the following:

      1- a public record of your DNA to confirm that it is representative of the general population;

      2- an accurate and reproducible specification of the diet that you actually followed during the test period, since “paleo” refers to an infinite collection of possible diets;

      3- a randomized controlled experiment on an appropriately large number of clones of yourself (to provide statistically significant results). Please also perform this experiment over the full human lifetime for each clone, not just the 1% of a lifetime that you have hitherto tested.

      Thank you on behalf of the committee of critical thinkers.

    • wideEyedPupil

      Just because “We’ve been sold the low fat, multi-grain diet for about 30 years now” doesn’t mean the US population has been observing good nutrition. In fact the opposite is true. Get some science into your nutritional intake.

      • blackbart

        Ahhh, the perennial appeal to ‘science’ and the conceited assumption that the opposite pov is unsupported by it. Ok, here’s your science…. http://caloriesproper.com/?p=2030

        But on this we are agreed, the US pop has not been observing good nutrition. The question is: What is good nutrition?

        • wideEyedPupil

          Look to the China Study for the most comprehensive epidemiological study ever performed. Oh hang on a blogger somewhere ‘debunked’ hundreds of thousands of doctorate hours of research. Scratch that reference.

          • blackbart

            I am not looking to be convinced of veganism or vegetarianism. From the very simple fact that you need B12 and can only get it from animal sources tells me veganism is a stupid fad.

            The China Study? Sorry, not a work of sound science.

            http://www.westonaprice.org/vegetarianism-and-plant-foods/the-china-study-myth

          • Guest

            Great reference Black Bart Lol.

          • wideEyedPupil

            Great reference Black Bart Lol. Got anything else, you clearly don’t know the difference between peer review science and opinion.

          • blackbart

            You’re simply showing your arrogance and ignorance. Go ahead and damage your bodies and minds…idk.

          • Toxins

            Studies dictate the nutrition information here, not opinionated authors.

          • Toxins

            Vitamin b12 is a byproduct of bacteria and at one point could be found in drinking water and even on plants do to the soil. Common hygiene practice prevents this from occurring. The China study is one study literally upon hundreds clearly linking animal product consumption with chronic disease. To debate this fact is silly once you have all of the background information. I encourage you to explore this website, and come to your conclusions once you have seen much of the data.

            I encourage you to explore further, such as here
            http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=igf-1
            http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/endotoxemia/

            Based on your recent comments, it is clear you get you information from youtube videos and fringe bloggers, nutritionfacts.org is not that. The information shared here is not incorrect and you will find many nutrition claims made elsewhere examined in detail here.

          • blackbart

            Read carefully:

            ”The B12 vitamin is of note because it is not available from plant products, making B12 deficiency a legitimate concern for vegans. Manufacturers of plant-based foods will sometimes report B12 content, leading to confusion about what sources yield B12. The confusion arises because the standard US Pharmacopeia (USP) method for measuring the B12 content does not measure the B12 directly. Instead, it measures a bacterial response to the food. Chemical variants of the B12 vitamin found in plant sources are active for bacteria, but cannot be used by the human body. This same phenomenon can cause significant over-reporting of B12 content in other types of foods as well.[30]‘

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B_vitamins

          • Toxins

            The argument i am making is not that we don’t need b12, it is that food is a package deal and although animal based foods have b12, the harms outweigh the benefits, so it would be much wiser to supplement b12 then get it from animal based foods.

            http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/vitamin-b12/

          • Devin Wiesner

            I thought B12 was only produced by Bacteria and that Animals obtained B12 from eating dirt. Am I mistaken? Thank you.

          • Devin Wiesner

            Oh, I see Toxins comment below confirming this.

          • blackbart

            “The China Study” is a compelling collection of carefully chosen data. Unfortunately for both health seekers and the scientific community, Campbell appears to exclude relevant information when it indicts plant foods as causative of disease, or when it shows potential benefits for animal products. This presents readers with a strongly misleading interpretation of the original China Study data, as well as a slanted perspective of nutritional research from other arenas

    • HereHere

      There have only been a small number of studies on the paleo diet, and those have only been done on small numbers of participants (subjects). I’m glad you are seeing some good progress, but I’d encourage you to make decisions based on the best evidence available. Studies on vegetarians have been done for 30 years, and they do live longer. Vegan studies are less common, but also show excellent results. Whatever you decide, the research is clear that adding more vegetables, and a greater variety of vegetables each day, improves health outcomes.

    • A. Brooke

      Its true the low fat diet has been sold for a long time, but no one is buying. If you consider only food sources of fat, two largest are cheese and chicken, consumption of cheese went from 10 to 35lbs/yr, and chicken from 30-odd to 90-odd lbs/yr, between 1960 and 2008, so its no surprise that total fat intake went from about 130 to about 180 grams/day per person. “the fat you eat is the fat you wear”

      • blackbart

        That simply isn’t true. (the fat you eat is the fat you wear) Only in terms of calories in/calories burned.

        The fact is, carbs break down to sugar. The body can only utilize a small amount before the bloodstream is in danger of over-saturation. Then insulin is released to assist in the conversion of the excess sugar so it may be stored as fat.

        Then you are hungry all too soon and need to feed again. ( whereas fat is satiating, and doesn’t leave you craving more food an hour later)

        Fat doesn’t make you fat. Simple carbs and sugar does.

      • Adrien

        Can you give us the source of that info Brooke. I’ll appreciate. I need references for writing and for my personal curiosity. Thanks.

    • farseas

      That was not what happened to me at all when I went on a “Paleo” diet. I cut out all grains and only ate meat and really high quality vegetables. My blood pressure soared to 220/120 and I had two heart attacks. My complexion was horrible. Now I look great and my skin is in great shape. It actually looks translucent. You will not find many models who eat Paleo. It ruins their looks too much.

      Besides, when was the last time that you heard of wonderful anti-oxidants in meat? Now I am on a totally vegan diet. After my last heart attack they wanted to do another stent, but following the lifestyle advice of Drs. Greger and Fuhrmann I declined the stent and have brought my blood pressure way down. I was on six medications to lower my blood pressure and am now down to two. I could not walk out to the car without strong chest pains. Now I walk two miles a day with no chest pains.

      It makes me seriously question the virtues of the Paleo diet. Besides, if you watch enough of Dr. Greger’s videos it becomes obvious that meat is not good for us for so many reasons that there is no question but that Veganism is the way to go.

      The one way that the Paleo diet might be an improvement for some people is if they ate small servings of meat and stopped eating junk carbohydrates. That would bring their blood sugar down and, yes it would be an improvement. But not as much improvement as going on a low sugar vegan diet.

      The only way that anybody could seriously promote a Paleo diet is by either being unaware of the research that Dr. Greger explains or by being a regular practitioner of cognitive dissonance. Watch more of the videos and you will get off from the Paleo diet.

      • blackbart

        ‘…grass-fed meat surpasses grain-fed ….[because] … it contains considerably more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, are precursors to vitamin A that are found as pigments in plants.’

        http://chriskresser.com/why-grass-fed-trumps-grain-fed

        • JacquieRN

          For sure – eating the plants in pasture provides cows with many antioxidants and minerals, while grain-fed cattle receive higher levels of pro-inflammatory nutrients that are stored in the meat consumed. However, eating the plants ourselves gives us higher levels of antioxidants and mineral directly consumed.

    • JacquieRN

      Zac, I am glad to hear of your successes. I am not sure what 80% Paleo means though and what you were eating before that caused the numbers to be off. For instance, elevated triglycerides can stem from too much sugar like fruit juice, oreos, etc.

      Note: one correction for your statement: “My triglycerides (bad cholesterol)…” Triglycerides are not “bad” cholesterol. Triglycerides are the chemical form in which most fat exists in food as well as in the body. They’re also present in blood plasma and, in association with cholesterol, form the plasma lipids.

      Since this is Dr. Greger’s reporting forum for research he has reviewed more on the subject:

      http://nutritionfacts.org/2013/02/21/the-real-paleo-diet/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/paleolithic-lessons/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/atkins-diet-trouble-keeping-it-up/
      http://www.atkinsexposed.org/

      Finally, the Paleo era did not have bacon.

  • Guy Hibbins

    Australia and New Zealand adopt food traffic light labelling

    Members might be interested to know that last Friday, Australia and New Zealand adopted a system of food traffic light labelling. See https://ama.com.au/ausmed/healthy-food-choices-stars The 5 star system is in response to spiraling rates of overweight, obesity and diabetes. A recent report predicted that Australia’s rate of diabetes would triple to 3 million people by 2025 (from a total current population of 23 million). This has caused such concern in Australia that the State and Federal governments felt that it was necessary to do something about it in order to curb rising health care spending and a rising burden of chronic disease. The traffic light labelling system was originally developed by the US Institute of Medicine, but Australia and New Zealand will be the first countries to actually implement it, despite opposition from industry.
    See http://theconversation.com/seeing-stars-ministers-poised-to-approve-new-food-rating-system-but-industry-seeks-a-delay-15163

  • Michael JC

    Dr. Greger, I wonder what you thing about a nutritional supplement called Juice Plus+. Have you ever studied the research done on this product?

  • Bill

    I am confused by all the negative press that micro wave cooking gets. And yet you seem to be reporting that the micro wave is likely the gentlest form of cooking. Taking away the least amount of antioxidant value in the process.
    I would love to be able to go back to micro wave cooking with a clear conscience. Can you help me with that?,

  • elsie blanche

    Does human breast milk contain trans-fat? It seems possible to me that it does since cow milk does. I wonder what the side-effects are for calves drinking trans-fats as their main (only) food group in their first stage of life. Maybe since the cow milk isn’t cooked the calves are not harmed, or, maybe the cattle producing the milk were fed a diet that contributed to a buildup of trans-fats…i don’t know but I think it is important to get clarity on this for the sake of the scientific method of the studies as they they relate to our thorough understanding of them. Maybe cattle fed grass, exclusively, do not pass these trans-fats on to their calves. And maybe human mothers don’t pass on trans-fats to their babies if they don’t consume the trans-fats in the first place? I can’t imagine human babies being fed nothing but trans-fat-breeast-milk in the first year of their lives.
    Nor can I imagine calves being fed nothing but trans-fat milk from “their” mothers. Something seems missing here.

    I feel extremely fortunate and relieved that I do not consume dairy at all.
    But I truly want to understand this study not to promote grass-fed raw dairy or raw meat or anything like that…and I think all of our awareness of the facts are limited until we find out whether raw or cooked dairy determined the results, and what the dairy cattle were fed (their natural diet, or one of
    human imposed/determined feed.

    I’d be grateful for anyone out there who might have some understanding on this. In the meantime I will reach out to the USDA and ask them for clarity.

  • karine

    Dr. Greger, in 2010 an article about trans fat in milk was published – Annals of Internal Medicine, and it said that those trans fat are actually good! and that they increase HDL and lower the risk of dieabtis type 2!
    are you saying that its not true?

    • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

      I dont know the specific article, but with poor reductionist study designs you can “prove” nearly anything – even that trans fat are healthy! Who founded the study – the milk industry?The weight of evidence shows clearly that trans fat increase the risk of various diseases. The safe upper limit is zero. Claiming that trans fat from a specifik source are healthy makes no sense.

      • vardarac

        “The safe upper limit is zero. Claiming that trans fat from a specifik source are healthy makes no sense.”

        I disagree that this is necessarily the case. What is the mechanism of trans fat’s contributions to poor health? What if the body’s metabolism of and/or endocrine/immune reaction to a trans fat is isomer-specific? And once we know the mechanism, is it counteracted by other factors in diet or lifestyle?

        Now, I am not recommending anyone to eat a brick of butter every day. I appreciate the caution in limiting or even eliminating saturated fat and trans fat until we know more, since neither of these fats are necessary. However, not being open to other ideas that the research does not give us any reason to rule out is patently unscientific.

        I will review the available studies on CLA and the like further and see if some compromise can be reached between the no-fat and the “bring on the bacon” crowd.

  • Void_Queen

    Thank you for another informative video! Keep up the awesome work!

  • painterguy

    I first picked up the “no oil” message from Cleveland Clinic surgeon, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. HD kills one in two. Esselstyn said HD could be relegated to a paper tiger and kill near zero. No Oil!!! Dumb founding.

  • HereHere

    Vegans, beware! There are meat substitutes that contain trans-fats. In fact, they have more transfat than the meat counterparts. It was shocking; we have to remain ever vigilant. The products I found with trans-fat are Garedein produced, Blue Label ‘vegetarian chicken breasts’ and ‘vegetarian chicken nuggets’. I found them tasty, but I will not touch them again. Dieticians also report that no level of trans-fat is considered safe. Health officials say the same thing about asbestos: there is no safe level of exposure. We must not accept the vegan health halo, but work on eating healthy vegan food, such as E2 diet recipes.

    • Thea

      HereHere: You are right that most of the mock-meats are unhealthy. However, I would argue that they are a (tiny) step up on the health scale as they don’t have all of the risks that you get from animal products. Further more, I believe that these mock-meats are stepping stones to healthier diets. Dr. Bernard calls them transition foods. I believe that these products help people transition to healthier diets. I’ve seen it myself.

      My 2 cents is to be clear with people about what is healthy and what is not healthy, but also to be cognizant of the benefits of transition foods as the information is presented. I do so with the people I talk to and it seems to help them take the next baby step.

      Just some thoughts for you. I’m not disagreeing with you. Just putting things into a different perspective.

    • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

      John McDougall has a talk about “The Fat Vegan”. You can easily be vegan and eat very unhealthy. Cola with sugar, french fries, potatochips etc are vegan. Avoid processed food, also vegan processed food. Eat food, not food-like things (I think that was Jay Gordon – from Processed People). It is not about eating vegan food, but a whole food, plant based diet. (98% of the time).

    • HereHere

      I also forgot to mention, most vegan margarine has trans fat also (Earth Balance). The other brand I’ve seen have a long list of unpronounceables. Now, if you have ever read veg news, these types of products are often reviewed and/or advertised. Funny thing, I don’t see this type of discussion in VegNews. I think the meatless ‘meat’ products are great for getting people off the awful animal products, so I think there is a real need for them. Let’s face it, most people don’t care enough about the long-term effects of what they put in their mouths, they will happily eat their hot dogs, deli meat, etc. because it tastes good. Switching from a deli-meat to a vegan deli alternative might be a huge health step forward for these eaters, even if it is still not a perfect diet.

      • Graham

        Australian table margarines have gone healthy with brands available that contain plant sterols, veg oils and soy..some trans fat remains, but only at trace levels (0.3%) and therefore of no consequence. These margarines are composed of natural ingredients and quite superior to artery clogging butter.

  • Frasier

    You are blatantly wrong about all trans fats being bad. Just look at CLA (found mainly in grass-fed meats), which has anticancer properties and helps manage weight (although it’s not counted as a trans fat for the purposes of nutritional regulations and labeling, so maybe that’s how you missed it). The main trans fatty acid in milk fat (vaccenic acid) is converted to CLA in the body as well.

    • vardarac

      What’s the conversion rate for vaccenic acid? I ask vegans the same question about ALA to EPA/DHA.

  • Ronald Chavin

    The trans fat in dairy foods is not any more harmful than the saturated fat in dairy foods. However, the trans fat that we create when we cook foods with vegetable oil are much more harmful to our health than saturated fats. The reason is that the trans fat from fried foods also contains nitrosamines, heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, dietary advanced glycation endproducts, dietary advanced lipoxidation endproducts, alkanals, alkenals, and other byproducts of high-temperature combustion. Meanwhile, the omega-7 trans fat from the bacteria in the cow’s stomach, which is called, trans vaccenic acid, does not contain these mutagenic byproducts of high-temperature combustion.

    People who drink high-fat milk have an all-cause mortality that is about 20% higher than people who don’t eat any dairy foods. People who drink low-fat milk have the same all-cause mortality as people who don’t eat any dairy foods. People who eat cheese have an all-cause mortality that is about 5% lower than people who don’t eat any dairy foods, probably because of vitamin K2/MK-7 and vitamin K2/MK-8, both of which remove unwanted calcium from our arteries. People who eat yogurt have an all-cause mortality that is about 15% lower than people who don’t eat any dairy foods, probably because of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, both of which manufacture beneficial chemicals that help us to prevent heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, diarrhea, and constipation.

  • blackbart

    From the Wiki on Drl. Greger:

    ‘Professor Joe Schwarcz of McGill University recommends Greger’s videos but says they contain “cherry-picking of data” and that Greger has swallowed veganism “hook, line, and sinker”.[4] Sceptic and physician Harriet A. Hall has also criticized Greger’s video Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, saying his videos are part of a genre featuring “a charismatic scientist with an agenda who makes sweeping statements that go beyond the evidence, makes unwarranted assumptions about the meaning of studies, and omits any reference to contradictory evidence”.[5]‘

    • JacquieRN

      Dr Joe Schwarcz and Harriet A. Hall are entitled to their assessment of this site and Dr. Greger’s work, as are you. I would encourage everyone to study, research, assess their health situation and goals in order to make informed decisions. Personally, I have for the past 20 years and will continue to do so.

      Research bias and outcomes are just one factor in choice for many things, culture, beliefs, etc. play a role. As for food choice fro example: “We don’t see meat eating as we do vegetarianism – as a
      choice, based on a set of assumptions about animals, our world and
      ourselves. Rather, we see it as a given,
      the “natural” thing to do. We eat
      animals without thinking about what we are doing and why because the belief
      system that underlies this behavior is invisible.” Melanie Joy, PH.D. from her book you may what
      to read: Why we Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows.

      • blackbart

        Melanie Joy is also entitled to her opinion. Frankly, such a statement as hers is reminiscent of college polemics. It goes beyond the realms of her expertise and wanders into the realm of conjecture and speculation.

        As for myself, I chose vegetarianism way back in college, then chose to eat meat again during the same time.

        The problem isn’t that people are operating like robots on autopilot, its that they have been so &$#@ confused by the conflicting opinions of ‘experts’ they don’t know what the hell is good for them.

        I consciously eat animals because:

        1) all our ancestors did, and we are physiologically
        omnivores

        2) I am stronger and healthier because of it.
        3). I am not trying to find salvation by avoiding meat

        • JacquieRN

          I am glad you are knowledgeable and have made the right nutrition choices for you.

    • Thea

      blackbart: Anyone who actually watches and understands the information presented by Dr. Greger on NutrtionFacts would see for themselves how obviously incorrect the above quote is. Remember, the internet is a famous place for incorrect information and anyone can say anything.

      As Toxins suggested, I recommend that you spend some time checking out this website for yourself.

      Finally, I’ve seen the criticism Hall did of the Uprooting talk and the criticism is full of points that make absolutely no sense or are just incorrect/misleading. Again, I encourage you to do check out some reliable sources, such as this website and/or Plant Positive etc yourself.

      Good luck.

      • blackbart

        Dr. Gregor’s opinion on nutrition is tainted by his ‘moral’ agenda or more precisely, crusade.

        There could be no clearer and obvious suggestion of a conflict of interest than the fact that he is the ‘ director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture for The HSUS and Humane Society International.’

        Case in point, he used 36 year old scientific opinion regarding the safety of eating eggs to dissuade people from eating eggs.…..a point of view that has been found since to be inaccurate.

        http://www.humanewatch.org/hsuss-schlock-doc-has-breaking-news-from-36-years-ago/

        Dr. Gregor has an implicit agenda to present nutrition ‘facts’ in a light that is unfavorable towards meat consumption, because that would involve taking an animal’s life, and that isn’t nice, because animals are all furry and huggable. Or they lay cute babies in white shells.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/ Michael Greger M.D.

    Note re: deleted comments/banned users. We welcome vigorous debate of the science, but to make NutritionFacts.org a place where people feel comfortable posting without feeling attacked, we have no tolerance for ad hominem attacks or comments that are racist/misogynist/homophobic/vulgar or otherwise inappropriate. I’ve gotten more sensitive to this after a physician who graciously donated his time to answer people’s questions stopped contributing because of the acrid atmosphere. So please, for everyone’s benefit, help me foster a community of mutual respect.

    • Adrien

      I had not the time to read these comments, but I don’t feel that I miss something.

  • vardarac

    I agree that isomeric specificity, as well as the mechanisms of how saturated fats and trans fats contribute to CVD risk, must be accounted for when making prescriptive recommendations on limiting intake. Wholesale demonization of these classes of molecules based on epidemiological evidence alone is premature.

    That being said, I understand the recommendation to limit both until further molecular and bloodwork evidence is available, given that we have no reason to believe these fats are essential.

  • http://lazy-couple-180.tumblr.com Julia

    I have a question about the amount of trans fats present in animal products mentioned at 1:40 in the video. Is this a percentage of fats or a percentage of a whole product? I hope I made myself clear. Thank you for your work, Dr Greger.

    • JacquieRN

      Hi Julia, the amounts are the percent of trans fat found in the food listed.

      • http://lazy-couple-180.tumblr.com Julia

        Oh my. So 5,15% of ground turkey is trans fat? Most peaole I know eat turkey as a health food. It’s a good thing ot to eat meat :)

      • http://lazy-couple-180.tumblr.com Julia

        So if I take 100g of ground turkey, I get 5,15g of trans fats?

  • Tom Goff

    There is a copy of the original Reuters story containing the quote by Eric Rimm, about not telling people to become vegetarians, here (ironically, it is a pro-Atkins low carb website!):
    http://forum.lowcarber.org/archive/index.php/t-50159.html