Ever since the FDA banned trans fats in June 2015, food manufacturers have been busy training a replacement.
Just when you think the stuff that bullies your belly was finally kicked out of the game, its just-as-mean teammate gets put in. Conditioned to perform just like its predecessor, Interesterified Fat (IF) appears to be just as lethal. Plus: IF is super-sneaky, essentially flying under the radar and making it easier to be put into your food. It will wreak havoc on your body, just like the trans fats we’ve all been fighting. That’s super frustrating, since there’s a reason it’s one of the 40 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet!
IF is a fusion of fats; molecules in naturally-occurring fats are rearranged to create a more shelf-stable model. (Sounds familiar…) These fats include stearic acid, a naturally-occurring saturated fat and vegetable oils, AKA soybean oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, etc.
Not much is known about IF—but what is known only confirms that this guy has trained under TF and has adapted his rotten ways. In fact, studies showed that when humans consumed IF, there was an increase in bad cholesterol and a decrease in good. And another study showed that female rodents that ingested this man-made fat had male offspring that were predisposed to diabetes.
You won’t find interesterified fat listed in ingredient lists or nutritional profiles—ahem, yet, if we have anything to say about it—making it extremely difficult to know whether or not it’s in certain foods. However, there is a very simple solution: Cut back on processed foods. You already know consuming whole foods is the best way to shed those unwanted pounds and lose belly fat, but it’s also a fool proof way to avoid sketchy, harmful ingredients like IF. And when you can’t? Avoid fully hydrogenated oils, like those listed above, which may be an indicator of IF.
Bottom line: We don’t know a ton about food companies’ newest, dirty player that’s on their rosters. And since the FDA has given them until June of 2018 to wipe out TF, its replacement will continue to stay on the DL. But if IF makes its debut, now you know to watch out.