Trans Fat In Meat & Dairy

Trans Fat In Meat & Dairy
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About half of America’s trans fat intake now comes from animal products.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

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 only found 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, on average. But, now that trans fat labeling has been mandated, and places like New York City banned the use of partially hydrogenated oils, the intake of industrially-produced trans fat is down to about 1.3. So, that means about 50% of America’s trans fat intake now comes 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 deodorization or stripping during the refining process.


Now, 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 in ordinary, nonvegan 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 up to .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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Mr Miyagi via flickr, and Ben Mills & Benjah-bmm27 via Wikimedia

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

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 only found 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, on average. But, now that trans fat labeling has been mandated, and places like New York City banned the use of partially hydrogenated oils, the intake of industrially-produced trans fat is down to about 1.3. So, that means about 50% of America’s trans fat intake now comes 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 deodorization or stripping during the refining process.


Now, 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 in ordinary, nonvegan 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 up to .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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Mr Miyagi via flickr, and Ben Mills & Benjah-bmm27 via Wikimedia

Doctor's Note

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

There may also be no safe intake of dietary cholesterol, which underscores the importance of reducing animal product consumption. See Trans Fat, Saturated Fat, & Cholesterol: Tolerable Upper Intake of Zero. Speaking of which, I’ll address the role of saturated fat and declining sperm counts in Male Fertility & Diet. 

Unrefined oils, such as extra virgin olive, should not contain trans fats. But, in order to boost the absorption of carotenoids in your salad (see Forego Fat-Free Dressings?), why not add olives themselves—or whole-food sources of fat, such as nuts or seeds? Other videos on oils include:

For additional 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.

98 responses to “Trans Fat In Meat & Dairy

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  1. 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.




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  2. 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?




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      1. 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!!




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        1. 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!




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          1. 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 :-)




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        2. 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.




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          1. 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!




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    1. 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.




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  3. 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?




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    1. 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.




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  4. 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.




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    1. 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




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  5. 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




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    1. 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.




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    2. 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.




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    3. 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.




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        1. 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.




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




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            2. 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.




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              1. 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




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                1. “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




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    4. 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.




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    5. 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”




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      1. 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.




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    6. 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.




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        1. 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.




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    7. 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.




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  6. 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




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




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  8. 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?,




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  9. 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.




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  10. 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?




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    1. 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.




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      1. “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.




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  11. 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.




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  12. 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.




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    1. 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.




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    2. 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).




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    3. 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.




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      1. 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.




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  13. 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.




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  14. 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.




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  15. 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]’




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    1. 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.




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      1. 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




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    2. 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.




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      1. 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.




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  16. 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.




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  17. It seems like not all trans fats are created equally…

    Contrary to popular opinion, not all trans fats are bad for you. Researchers have now found that a diet with enriched levels of trans vaccenic acid (VA) — a natural animal fat found in dairy and beef products — can reduce risk factors associated with heart disease, diabetes and obesity….

    Because VA is the major natural trans fat in dairy and beef
    products, comprising more than 70 per cent of the proportion of natural
    trans fat content in those products, the findings support a growing body
    of evidence that indicates natural animal-based trans fat is different
    than harmful hydrogenated trans fat created through industrial
    processing, Wang noted.

    “As the VA results illustrate, some natural trans fats are not harmful and may in fact be very good for you,” she said.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080402152140.htm




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  18. t seems like not all trans fats are created equally…

    “Contrary to popular opinion, not all trans fats are bad for you.
    Researchers have now found that a diet with enriched levels of trans vaccenic acid (VA) — a natural animal fat found in dairy and beef products — can reduce risk factors associated with heart disease, diabetes and obesity….

    “As the VA results illustrate, some natural trans fats are not harmful and may in fact be very good for you,” she said.”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080402152140.htm




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  19. 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.




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  20. Big fan and definitely help move me toward my change to vegan diet. I share your info regularly on my Stern Chiropractic Facebook page. As a part of my practice I counsel my practice members on wellness lifestyles and frequently use pieces of info I get from your emails (and credit you by sharing the link to your website & newsletter sign-up). 2 suggestions to make reading your emails easier: 1. print color (I found this in writing my newsletters) standard seems to be a gray/black color – you can change it to black, if you want, is it is easier to read. 2. I regularly follow your links but it takes me off of the original page. May I suggest selecting the “Open link in new window” option when creating the links. It allows the reader to keep the original page open & still go to the link page. Again, big fan, great info.




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  21. 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.




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        1. According to the US National Nutrient Database, 100 grams of raw ground turkey contains only 0.103 grams of trans fat. Even as a percentage of total calories (most ground turkey is actually water), trans fat is significantly less than 1%. The figures for 100 grams of cooked ground turkey are a little higher by weight (there is less water in cooked ground turkey) but even lower as a percentage of total calories.




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  22. Not sure if you’ve figured it out already or not… but pretty sure if you Right Click on the link itself you can choose “open in new tab or window”… I’m using Firefox so if could be your browser.




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  23. That “0.5g = 0g” TFA labelling really ticks me off!
    It’s easy for someone to have 2 servings of a product with “0g” TFA, twice daily.

    Irresponsible government.




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  24. What about poultry or even pork? When we say meat its usually regarding beef, maybe pork, etc… i.e. its a separate category of animal protien.




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  25. Meat based trans fats do NOT act the same way as hydrogenated vegetable based trans fats in the body. They are completely natural and not hydrogenated and appear to be good for us to consume. You must have missed all of the news about the anti red meat studies in the 50’s and how they were based on completely false information (you probably don’t know that ulcers are caused by a virus either). People eating red meat, eating eggs and using butter (you know, natural food) turn out to be more healthy than vegans. WOW! Get some facts before you print his dangerous information to the uninformed public. You are a real danger to them. Carbohydrates are the real danger. The low fat, high carb diets foisted on the unsuspecting public by the government and the duplicitous doctors (like you) and medical schools, including their rants that we should stop eating natural animal and dairy fats and eat the health, hydrogenated vegetable fats (i.e. trans fats) has caused the increase in heart disease and the weight gain that has plagued our society for over 50 years. How many people died from listening to the anti-red meat and natural fat group over the last 50 years. Many more people have died because they ate the trans fats and high
    carbs diets that were recommended to them over the last 50 years by the
    uninformed and badly educated doctors than will be saved in the near future by getting
    rid of trans fats. Now you have had to admit that you were wrong for all those years and that those hydrogenated fats you told us were better for us are in fact even worse, and yet you try to find a way to get people to focus on something else without reminding them that you doctors were the ones who told them to eat those dangerous trans fats in the first place. The fact is that you were wrong.




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    1. Gosh. You really have bought the Brooklyn Bridge haven’t you? Multiple times judging by the comments in your post. About the only thing you got (partly) right is that some – but not all – ulcers are caused by a virus.

      So you think animal trans fats are safe or even healthy? I’m sure some people will tell you that, and some industry funded studies may seem to suggest it, but the science indicates all trans fats adversely affect heart health
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22059639
      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejlt.200300932/abstract?

      People eating red meat etc aren’t healthier than vegetarians as you claim. They have higher mortality, are sicker and fatter than vegetarians.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4191896/
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4073139/

      And modern studies continue to find red meat consumption is associated with bad health
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26143683
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3712342/

      You also claim that carbohydrates are the real danger. This is the opposite of the truth. Low carbohydrate diets deliver higher mortality:
      http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e4026
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2989112/
      http://jaha.ahajournals.org/content/3/5/e001169.full
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3555979/

      I don’t know where you found all these ridiculous and dangerous ideas. Perhaps in a fad diet book or on some crackpot website. But be very careful, such false and unscientific claims can damage your health if you act on them. It is far better to seek information from credible sources. Dr Greger’s videos are based on real science. You can also look at major scientific reports on nutrition and health produced by panels of experts:
      http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/nutrientrequirements/fatsandfattyacids_humannutrition/en/
      http://www.dietandcancerreport.org/expert_report/index.php
      http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-scientific-report/
      http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/dietary_guidelines_for_americans/2010DGACReport-camera-ready-Jan11-11.pdf
      http://foris.fao.org/preview/25553-0ece4cb94ac52f9a25af77ca5cfba7a8c.pdf




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  26. Can you comment on the healthfulness of zero and low fat cheeses? I am getting the impression that you view even 1% fat cottage cheese as essentially unhealthy and to be minimized. Do I read that right?




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    1. gorvo: It is a very reasonable question and one that is shared by others. Unfortunately (for those people who like dairy cheese), removing the fat just means that you have more of the lactose (diary sugar) and animal protein. And taking out the fat does little nothing (I think) to eliminate the many harmful contaminants and hormones found in dairy cheese.

      Here is the topic page for cheese. Not everything on this page will apply if you take out the fat from the cheese. But a great deal of this information would still apply I think:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/cheese/

      This site has many videos listing the problems with animal protein in general. And with the contaminants found in diary cheese. Here is some information on animal protein in general:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/animal-protein/

      or check out this for a super good reason to skip the animal protein:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/diet-and-climate-change-cooking-up-a-storm/

      And the entire series on IGF-1 (linking animal protein to cancer) is a must-see. The beginning of the series starts here (and you just keep clicking ‘next video’ until you get to the end of the series, something about body building):
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/igf-1-as-one-stop-cancer-shop/

      And here is some information on lactose:
      nutritionfacts.org/?s=lactose

      My take-home from all this is that fat-free cheese is about taking an extremely unhealthy product and making it just as unhealthy in different ways.

      Make sense? What do you think? Would you be interested in some ideas for getting rid of the dairy?




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  27. what about “good dairy”..im talking about low fat greek yoghurt, quark and cottage cheese (high protein, low fat). it helps me a lot for a post workout on the go meal, but am concerned now after browsing your site. please help!




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    1. David: It is a fair question because of all the marketing that diary has. But here is the NutritionFacts topic page for diary: http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/dairy Some of the health problems with dairy might be lessened by eating low fat and perhaps fermented like a yoghurt, but after going carefully through the information on that page, you might agree with me that there is no such thing as “good dairy”. And I don’t think that page even addressed the animal protein/IGF-1 issues. Food is a package deal. Dairy is just not worth it.
      .
      That may leave you wondering what might make a good after workout snack or ‘meal on the go’. If so, I recommend that as a separate post/question and hopefully some of our athletes will jump in and give you some tips.




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  28. What do I do now? I can’t tolerate nuts, peanuts, gluten, soy and I have been living on dairy products. Even with potatoes, I use grass fed butter. All grains cause a skin reaction and I do have thyroid disease and fatty liver. I don’t know what to eat anymore. I feel sick on fat free foods. I do love fruits and if I eat a vegetable, it has to be covered in dressing to cover up the vegetable taste. I know my fat count is way too high.




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  29. In the journal Elementa, Christian Peters and Gary Fick, a study proposed that a lacto-vegetarian diet made better use of land space than a vegan diet. Now I do not eat any dairy with severe lactose intolerance, the fat with a history of HTN, and the hormones with a history of prostate cancer, as well as considering the torture of cows. I might suggest they do not even consider the more severe problem of CO2 and methane production polluting the world, acidifying the ocean, and destruction of jungles. They even suggest eating small amounts of meat also makes better use of land. This article was reviewed and supported on the Tuft’s Nutrition Letter. What is your take on this article. Thank you.




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