Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"Eat This, Not That" Makes Whack Attack on Margarine

If you haven’t read it, you need to check out one of my favorite new books on the market, Eat This, Not That. The basic premise of the book shows what foods to avoid while dining at popular fast food places and chain restaurants as well some very low-calorie healthy, options that just might surprise you.

The book not only teaches people how to be on the lookout for meals that sounds healthy but pack hidden calories, but also reinforces that notion that it is possible to eat healthy no matter where you are just by making the correct choices.

However, I have a bone to pick with the author, David Zinczenko. On the Men’s Health Web site, he lists 14 “Health foods that aren’t!” Chicken Caesar salads, turkey burgers and granola bars all make his list of foods that people trying to lose weight should avoid. Margarine is also number 14 and he states:

“In their haste to remove saturated fat from butter, margarine makers created a monster—a soft, spreadable sludge loaded with trans-fats, a dangerous lipid with more concerning links to heart disease than saturated fat. Stick with the real stuff, but pick up whipped butter from brands like Land O’ Lakes instead; by whipping air into the butter, manufacturers decrease the caloric density of a tablespoon of butter, plus it makes for easier spreading.”

Apparently Mr. Zinczenko is completely unaware of the fact that you won’t find any soft or liquid margarine that contain trans fat, and trans fat levels of stick margarines have been greatly reduced. Using new technologies, margarine manufacturers have met the challenge and eliminated or reduced trans fat in margarine products, making a good product even better. In fact, the margarine industry has led the food industry in removing trans fat content from its products. Soft, liquid and spray margarine products are now in sync with the recommendations included in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the MyPyramid food guidance system. Soft margarine products were elevated in their importance in that they “help meet essential fatty acid needs and also contribute toward Vitamin E needs” according to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report.

Okay I’m going to get off my high horse right now. I’ve said my piece and now it’s time for a much needed nap. All this margarine misinformation is making me tired!

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