FSA: do not ignore saturated fats


Rosemary Hignett Head of nutrition, Food Standards Agency Sir; I would like to set the record straight on the FSA's position on trans fats ('Healthy foods could be hit by the demonising of trans fats', The Grocer, 9 June, p13). Trans fats, like saturated fats, are indeed 'bad' fats. There is robust scientific evidence that high intakes of both these fats can raise blood cholesterol levels and increase the risk of coronary heart disease. However, here in the UK, people's intakes of trans fats are well below the recommended maximum of 5g per day (or 2% of total energy). In contrast, saturated fat intakes are higher than recommended. Therefore, the FSA's focus is on reducing consumer intake of saturated fat. We are committed to working with the food industry to achieve this and are currently consulting on a draft programme. A number of retailers and manufacturers are acting or have acted to reduce or remove trans fats from their products and we welcome this. However, any reformulation to reduce the content of trans fats in foods should not result in replacing this fat with saturated fats.