Roundup: Salmonella in Eggs, ‘Bad’ Calories and Trans Fats

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May 18, 2018


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Investigation of Salmonella Infections Linked to Eggs Continues

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cautions consumers to check egg cartons for numbers that indicate they could contain Salmonella bacteria as the agency’s investigation of the multi-state outbreak presses on.  Since the first report in April of someone in North Carolina sickened from eating the contaminated eggs, a total of 35 people have become ill, including 11 who were hospitalized, the latest CDC update says.

Florida is one of nine states in which people have become ill from eating the bacteria-ridden eggs. The eggs suspected were produced by Rose Acre Farms located in Hyde County, N.C.  The company issued a voluntary recall of more than 200,000 eggs it delivered to stores and restaurants. Florida-based Publix announced its recall of 23,400 egg packages branded under Cal-Maine Foods Inc.

In addition to Florida and North Carolina, cases have been reported in Colorado, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. Other brand names the eggs have been sold under include Coburn Farms, Country Daybreak, Food Lion, Glenview, Great Value, Nelms, Sunshine Farms and Sunups.

Check egg cartons for the following numbers: P-1065 (the plant number) and another set of numbers between 011 and 102 (the Julian date), or, for Publix and Sunups egg cartons, plant number P-1359D and Julian date 048A or 049A with “Best By” dates of “APR 02” and “APR 03.” The CDC advises you to throw them away or return them to the store for a refund, and wash and sanitize places in refrigerators where the eggs were stored.

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These Calories are More Harmful Than Others, Researchers Conclude

It’s not a revelation that sweetened beverages such as sodas can contribute to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. But calories from sugar-sweetened drinks can be bad for you even when consumed as part of diets that do not result in weight gain, researchers say.

That’s one of the findings published this week in Obesity Reviews, by group of researchers who participated in last year’s CrossFit Foundation Academic Conference. The goal of the researchers was to determine if all calories are equal with regards to effects on obesity and cardiometabolic disease (referring to a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease or stroke).

The authors also concluded eating polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in some vegetable oils, seeds and nuts, lowers disease risk when compared with equal amounts of saturated fats. However, dairy foods such as cheese and yogurts, which can be high in saturated fats, have been associated with reduced cardiometabolic risk.

Eating more unsaturated fat than saturated and trans fats can reduce your risk of heart disease and improve “good” (HDL) cholesterol levels, according to the U.S. nutritional guidelines at ChooseMyPlate.gov.

“What’s new is that this is an impressive group of scientists with vast experience in nutrition and metabolism agreeing with the conclusion that sugar-sweetened beverages increase cardiometabolic risk factors compared to equal amounts of starch,” said lead author Kimber Stanhope, a research nutritional biologist with the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis.

Limiting “carbs” to lose weight usually refers to consumption of starchy foods. Foods that are considered starchy, sometimes referred to as complex carbohydrates, include grains, legumes and starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, peas, winter squash and sweet potatoes. These foods often contain at least a small amount of sugar and fiber as well as starch.

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Eliminate ‘Trans Fats’ From All Food by 2023, Says World Health Organization

It has been widely known for years that so-called “trans fats” can raise your “bad cholesterol” and contribute to heart disease. In response, the U.S. government issued its own ban on artificial trans fats about three years ago.

Now the World Health Organization wants to eliminate artificial trans fats from the global food supply and has a step-by-step strategy on how to do so by 2023. On Monday, the WHO launched an initiative called REPLACE that provides foreign government leaders guidance on removing artificial trans fats from foods, in hopes it will lead to worldwide eradication.

Trans fats had been found in everything from french fries, frozen pizzas and cake mixes to microwave popcorn, coffee creamers and the margarine you may spread on your morning toast. It’s made by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil through a process called hydrogenation, which makes food stay fresher longer. Health experts say they can be replaced with canola oil or other products. There are also naturally occurring trans fats in some meats and dairy products.

This hydrogenation process increases a person’s cholesterol more than do other types of fats. It increases LDL (low-density lipoprotein), the “bad” cholesterol, and decreases HDL (high-density lipoprotein), the “good” cholesterol.

In 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave food companies three years to cut artificial trans fats containing partially hydrogenated oils from processed foods. The companies would have to petition the FDA for a specific use of partially hydrogenated oils, sometimes known as PHOs.

Even before the FDA acted, most U.S. food companies had already started to reduce or eliminate their use of trans fats in cookies, cakes and frozen foods. A study released last year by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found people who lived in parts of New York state, where trans fats had been banned for at least three years, had significantly lower rates of heart attacks and strokes.

“Implementing the six strategic actions in the REPLACE package will help achieve the elimination of trans fat, and represent a major victory in the global fight against cardiovascular disease,” says WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a statement.

The WHO is urging governments to enact regulatory actions to eliminate industrially-produced trans fats and find ways to effectively monitor trans fats content in the food supply. The organization also recommends tracking changes in trans fat consumption in the population.

Several high-income countries have virtually eliminated industrially-produced trans fats through legally-imposed limits on the amount that can be contained in packaged food, the WHO states. Some governments have implemented nationwide bans on partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of industrially-produced trans fats.

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