06 Feb

Reader Q&A: Trans Fat And Peanut Butter Update

Reader Q: On the Skippy creamy label it says “o gm trans fat.”  But in your earlier post about peanut butter, you wrote that Skippy creamy does have trans fat? 

LitteBites A: Perfect question to demonstrate how companies can manipulate a food label. Trans fat is synonymous with hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils. A product will have trans fat if it has hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil listed in the ingredient list. And, Skippy creamy does have hydrogenated vegetables oils listed, meaning it has trans fat.

But here’s the catch. The current labeling regulations allow companies to declare a product as having 0 gm trans fat if it has less than 0.5 gm per serving. And believe me, companies will make their listed serving size as small as possible to try and get away with this labeling loop hole. In the case of PB, the serving size  is usually 1 tablespoon because that small amount can fit perfectly into the less that 0.5 gm limit.

When eating 1 tablespoon of Skippy creamy, you’ll take in less 0.5 gm trans fat, which isn’t much. But if you eat more than that (impossible, who eats more than 1 tablespoon of PB at a time?) that’s multiplying your trans fat intake when you thought you weren’t eating any. Very deceitful. Not cool.