I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! No trans fat emblem
Two years ahead of FDA rule, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter adds trans fat listing to labels of products that contain no trans fat.
A first of its kind emblem from I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® (ICBINB!) arrives on store shelves this month to help consumers readily identify the brand's soft spread margarines containing no trans fat. In conjunction with the emblem, ICBINB! will also include a trans fat listing on the Nutrition Facts panel of those products that contain no trans fats. ICBINB!’s labeling change is two years ahead of the Food and Drug Administration's labeling rule that requires food manufacturers to list trans fat on their nutrition labels by January 2006. Currently, ICBINB! Light, With Calcium, Spray, Whipped Squeeze and Fat Free contain no trans fat per serving. Manufactured by Unilever Bestfoods North America, ICBINB! is America's largest selling premium margarine spread.
"Unilever Bestfoods recognizes that there has been an increase in concern over the potential negative health effects of trans fat," said David Blanchard, SVP Research and Development, Unilever Bestfoods North America. "We are continually improvingour products to help consumers meet their needs in terms of nutrition, quality and product performance. We are proud to be at the forefront of this effort to develop technologies that lower or eliminate the amount of trans fats in our products without compromising on great taste."
By June 2004, the entire line of ICBINB! soft spreads will contain no trans fat. I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! soft spreads will range from 0g to 9g fat per serving and from 0g to 2g saturated fat per serving, as of June 2004. For more information about ICBINB!, please visit www.tasteyoulove.com.
Throughout 2004, Unilever Bestfoods will add a similar 'No Trans Fat' emblem to the packaging of all its soft spread products that contain no trans fat. These include all varieties of Promise; Take Control; Brummel & Brown; and Shedd's Country Crock Light, Country Crock Plus Calcium & Vitamins, Squeeze and Country Crock Plus Yogurt. Unilever Bestfoods, the nation's leading manufacturer of margarine products, continues to reduce fat, trans fat and saturated fat in its portfolio of products and already markets several no trans fat margarine spread products.
How to avoid trans fats?
"We know now that trans fats are more unhealthy than saturated fats, so it is important that consumers easily identify those products that contain no trans fats," said Charles Stuart Platkin, renowned nutrition and public health advocate. "The combination of the 'No Trans Fat' emblem and the trans fat listing on the Nutrition Facts panel of ICBINB!'s soft spread packaging will allow consumers to make healthier choices in the grocery store."
"The bottom line is a familiar one: consume as little trans fat and saturated fat as possible, and maintain a healthy weight. Most researchers recommend reducing your intake of saturated and trans fats to less than 10% of calories, or 20 grams per day of both fats combined," explained Platkin.
Charles Stuart Platkin’s tips for avoiding trans fats:
- Go soft: Look for soft or liquid margarines instead of hard margarines; the softer the margarine, the less trans fat it contains. And don't go running to butter just yet - butter also contains trans fats, not to mention loads of saturated fats.
Hint: Look for margarine spreads with the "No Trans Fat" emblem on their packaging or for those that list the amount of trans fat on their food label
- Know "suspect" foods: Look out for trans fats in many shortenings, deep fried foods, fast foods, and many commercial baked goods such as pies, cookies, cakes, crackers and doughnuts, and other common packaged items.
- Check the ingredients: Look for shortening or partially hydrogenated oil in the ingredients list; the closer they are to the beginning of the list, and the more total fat on the label, the more trans fat the product probably contains.
- Do the math: If a product lists saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats, check to see if those numbers add up to the total fat listed. If they don't, there's a good chance trans fat makes up for some of the difference.
- Watch what they "claim:" Products can claim to be "low saturated fat" even if they contain trans fats.
- It may not matter: The combined total of trans and saturated fat matters most There is little benefit in choosing a food that's low in trans fat if it's high in saturated fat, and vice versa.
Unilever Bestfoods North America is headquartered in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and is a unit of Unilever, one of the world's largest consumer products companies, with annual sales of approximately $47 billion in 2002. In addition to foods, Unilever also produces and markets a wide range of home and personal care products. Unilever operates in 88 countries around the globe and employs approximately 250,000 people. In the United States, Unilever sales were approximately $11 billion in 2002. The company employs some 15,225 people and has 59 offices and manufacturing sites in 21 states. Best known among its U.S. products are: Lipton teas, soups, recipe products and side dishes; Wish-Bone salad dressings and marinades; Lawry's seasonings and specialty sauces; Imperial, Promise, Country Crock, "I Can’t Believe It's Not Butter!" and Brummel & Brown spreads and sprays; Ragú pasta and pizza sauces; Bertolli olive oil, premium pasta sauces and frozen dinners; Knorr soups, sauces and bouillons; Hellmann's and Best Foods mayonnaise; and Skippy peanut butter.
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