Calling Out Companies on Trans Fat

Wow guys. I have been blown away reading all your inspiration stories of how and why you got started running on my Road Runner Sports outfit giveaway! I try not to comment on giveaway posts because it makes it harder for me to keep the numbers straight when it comes time to pick a winner but I think I’m going to break my own rule because some of your stories meant so much to me. I am so inspired by so many of you, thanks for making me smile yesterday! And if you haven’t entered yet it’s not too late to enter! The giveaway is open until til next Wednesday, and it’s one you’ll want to win. The outfit is incredible!

Speaking of incredible things, Josh and I have a lot of celebrating to do this weekend, he proposed again!

He didn’t propose to me again, although my wedding band did come in the mail this week! I looove it and how it goes perfectly with my engagement ring. I can’t wait until I can wear it all the time but for now it’s safely locked away. Josh just proposed his dissertation and I am so proud of him for getting it approved. His next step is to run studies and collect data, then analyze the data and write his dissertation, then defend it and become a Doctor! He is so smart and such a hard worker. I am so happy watching all of his dreams come true.

To celebrate I surprised him with some pumpkin mookies and a congratulations card. I always like to put little silly things on the front of his cards. ;p I’m so glad I was actually able to surprise him, I’m horrible with surprises and normally give away what I’m doing well in advance.

The mookies turned out really good although I was unsure if they were going to happen after a trip to pick up ingredients at the store. When I bake special occasion cookies and cakes I typically bake them from scratch. But sometimes you just need to be able to grab a box mix to make something quick. I haven’t made mookies in a while so when browsing all the big name box brands at Wegmans the other day I was shocked to find that even though they all say 0 grams trans fat they all have partially hydrogenated soybean oil as their third or fourth ingredient. What that means is that each serving of cake has .49 grams of trans fat. Which if you eat mookies like Josh and I do means you’ll be getting a lot of unexpected trans fat. I consider myself very moderate when it comes to food views. I eat tons of less-than-healthy for you foods and love snacks and sweets as much as the next person. Everything can be good in moderation, except for trans fat. It doesn’t have a recommended serving size on nutrition labels because Doctors recommend you shouldn’t consume any trans fat. It is man made and was popularized in the 60′s and 70′s because it’s cheap to make and helps preserve food. At the time it was also thought to be healthier than saturated fat. It’s now known to be worse because while saturated fat increases the bad cholesterol in your body, trans fat increases the bad cholesterol and decreases the good cholesterol.

I know that things happen and if I order a baked good or eat a snack at a friend’s house sometimes there will be trans fat in it. I don’t really let that bug me because those instances are so few and far between, but I never knowingly buy a product that has trans fat in it. Which is why I was so torn in the cake aisle. I didn’t have time to make mookies from scratch and I really wanted to make something for Josh to celebrate his hard work. I was also a little mad at the big brands for keeping a product in their food and hiding it from us when there is no need to do so. You don’t gain anything from having trans fat in a product, it doesn’t enhance the taste and there are a million other products you can use instead.

A government study recently found that while the childhood obesity rate hasn’t changed for the first time in 20 years the number of children with high cholesterol has declined. Experts were wondering how this could be possible because obesity and high cholesterol go hand in hand and the leading theory is that it is because companies are scaling back the use of trans fat in their products.

Just when I was about to leave the store empty handed I spotted a box of Naturally Nora cake mix. They didn’t have a spice cake flavor but they were made of only eight ingredients. They were free of partially hydrogenated anything. I decided to put my money where my mouth is and pay $3.99 for a box of trans fat free cake mix over an .89 cent box of a popular brand cake mix. I’d rather spend a little more and feel comfortable with what I’m eating. I’m so happy to report that Josh loved the mookies and that both he and my dad (and myself) think they taste just as good as the ones made with traditional cake mixes.

To continue the celebration Josh and I met up with a group of friends for trivia at Zenos over dinner and a beer. I got my veggie cheesesteak again and loved every bite of the cheesy mushroom goodness. It was a fun trivia night with Mark Twain’s Mustache in the lead for most of the night until we fell into second in the last round.

This morning I had one of my favorite breakfast treats. Josh brought breakfast food for his committee the day of his dissertation proposal but ended up with extras  afterwards. He brought them home which meant a Panera bagel and cream cheese for me, covered with two scrambled eggs. It was so delicious!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I’m so excited that Josh and I finally get to dress up like penguins for Halloween parties! It’s going to be a blast!

Question of the Day: How do you feel about trans fat? Is it something you feel okay eating or do you avoid it as much as possible? Do you have a nutrition or health issue that you feel really strongly about?

Comments

  1. says

    Beautiful ring! I avoid trans fat as much as possible. There are so many better options and I try my best to make things from scratch. It’s true that everything can say zero trans fat but all those small numbers add up. Food labeling can be so deceiving!

    • says

      I really wish food labeling was more clearly laid out than it currently is, it makes it hard for a lot of consumers to understand what they’re reading. And thanks so much, I love my ring! :D

  2. Sarah says

    You mentioned you never knowingly buy a product with trans fat, but it appears you eat french fries and potato chips every weekend? Depending on the oil it’s cooked in, potato chips/fries (even fried veggie burgers, the grill and fryer is often the same oil) have heavy amounts of trans fat.

    Just food for thought….:)

    • says

      I didn’t even know they fried veggie burgers, I don’t think I would like that. As for french fries and potato chips, most chips restaurants use are store bought and don’t contain trans fat. French fries are one of those 50/50 things that are a real gamble. I just hope the restaurant is being responsible and using good products but at the end of the day I’m in college and I want to get to enjoy french fries with my friends. If I have them once a weekend I’m okay with that. :) I wish I lived in a state like NY where I could guarantee they wouldn’t have trans fat in them. They still wouldn’t be good for me, but I could eat them with a lot less guilt!

    • says

      It is a long process but I’m so glad he’s almost done! Just one more semester to go! Congrats to your husband! What is his phd in?

  3. says

    I had no idea that if a product is advertised as free of trans fats that it could still, in fact, contain a small amount! Thanks for the heads up! I take a similar approach to you… I try to avoid trans fats, but I’m not going to freak if I don’t know the nutritional composition of every thing I eat!

    • says

      Yeah, when I found that out I was shocked too! A lot of companies have made their portion sizes smaller so that they could say a serving contains 0grams trans fat. But if it has partially hydrogenated anything in the ingredients list it’s a lot closer to .5 grams than 0 per serving. When it comes to sweets I usually eat more than the serving size so it can really add up!

  4. says

    I try to eat plant based, whole foods most of the time. If I buy processed foods I look for minimal ingredients and real ingredients. For treats etc I just don’t worry, life is too short and complicated already! Haha.

    • says

      That is true, life is way too short! I want to get better about cooking more of my food. I definitely go out way more on the weekend than I should, I just love trying new restaurants and eating at old favorites with Josh.

  5. says

    Yum, those cookies and that bagel look so good. I am hungry just looking at them. And I went over to look at the recipe for the cookies…it’s so easy! I think I may have to make some!

  6. says

    LOVE the ring!!! I don’t think too much about trans fats actually- I don’t know why! I think it’s probably because most things I eat aren’t processed and so I don’t worry about them having trans fats. When I eat something special (like the ginormous cupcake I ate today or the chocolate covered oreos I ate yesterday ;-) ) I don’t feel bad about it because the majority of my diet is good whole foods :-)
    I think we have the same stance on this issue!

    • says

      Aw thank you! I’m so excited to be able to wear it daily in a few months! Ohh I love ginormous cupcakes! haha I’m glad you enjoyed it! :D

  7. Vanessa at Project Zen says

    I try to eat as natural as possible and think of the food I eat as energy or healing.
    Even if I am out with my friends – there’s nothing worse than being sick afterwards!

  8. Marie says

    I used to eat Healthy Choice meals occasionallly and found out that they are not so healthy afterall. Of course the label says 0 trans fat to fool the comsumers, BUT in the ingredients, it does list the partially hydronated soybean oil. This is true of most pre packed lunches/dinners.

    I think it’s terrible that large food industries especially, are okay with slowly killing the public as long as it’s saving them money. I learned to look at all labels alot more carefully now.

    Oh yea, you should try the Naturally Nora’s brownies too…they are SO good! :) I’ll have to try the cake. Haven’t had a chance to buy it yet.

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