ST Jan 20, 2007
Think margarine is healthy? You might be better off with butter
THE World Health Organisation recommends that the intake of saturated fat should not exceed 10 per cent of total calories, while that of trans fat should not exceed 1 per cent.
There is an important difference between these two numbers. Ten per cent saturated fat is the healthy level - because saturated fat is needed for many body functions.
By contrast, 1 per cent trans fat is a compromise level. Trans fats are extremely harmful and not needed at all. The healthy level for trans fat is essentially zero.
If we compare like with like - which is more meaningful - we will realise that all Singaporeans exceed the healthy level of zero trans fat. And we all exceed that level infinitely.
Probably the biggest difference is this: Saturated fats are widely perceived to be harmful, while many people still do not know about trans fats - and think that products like margarine, which contains trans fat, are healthy.
Jan 22, 2007
Trans Fat in the Straits Times Again
I just noticed that my helpful reader Richard Seah also has a letter in the Online Letters section of the Straits Times. An excerpt: