Meghan Tiernan (MS, RD, LDN) is a registered dietitian with a passion for helping others achieve a healthy lifestyle. She strives to help others learn the most nutritious way to eat, in order to achieve good health. Meghan enjoys cooking and running and believes that with just some basic knowledge, you can gain the confidence in yourself to know that you can eat well.

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Dietitian Consult

by Meghan Tiernan, MS, RD, LDN

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I suppose it depends on your point of view, but there have been some big steps in the attempts to bring health and nutrition into the public eye through the government lately, and to me, that's very exciting! The role that nutrition plays in each and every one of our lives is finally getting the attention it deserves. It's an exciting time to be in the field because there is a lot that has been happening to improve the nutritional value of the foods that are in our food supply, restaurants and grocery store aisles.

The latest attempt is through the FDA and trans fats. Yesterday the FDA announced a plan to declare that trans fats are no longer going to be "generally recognized as safe." This has a more serious impact on a manufacturer's ability to include any trans fats in their products.

A few years ago, there was an initial push to reduce the use of trans fats, but products could still get away with saying they are "trans fat free" if they contain less than half a gram of trans fat per serving. But if you have a few servings of a food that contains some trans fats, that can really add up. There have been many studies proving the detrimental effects that trans fats have on health, and the initial push has already proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and its complications.

While some people are against government getting involved in this sort of thing, in my opinion, if their motives are to help the health of the general population then I'm all for it. If it holds companies and restaurants accountable for what they're putting in the foods they serve to us, then - again - I'm all for it.

Heart disease, obesity, cancer, etc. are all health problems that have direct correlations to what we eat. Every little thing we can do to improve the nutritional value of our food sources makes us better off.

While it's great for the FDA to be taking action, it's also up to us to make the right choices about what we are eating. The sooner we can make more healthy choices than unhealthy choices, the sooner our bodies benefit from that decision and the long term positive benefits will be appreciated in the future. Getting back to the basics of healthy nutrition will inherently make your diet better. Trans fats are found in all the usual sources that make things freakishly shelf stable. Creamers, microwave popcorn, baked goods... it's not surprising that these are the foods that are in need of modifications.

Regardless of how you feel about the government intervening, it's an exciting time in the nutrition world and we all stand to benefit from the steps they're taking to improve the general population's health.

What are your thoughts on this?

@ 6:25pm ET on November 10, 2014
Thanks for the information

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