Remember when packaged foods emblazoned with the words “fat free” seemed to be everywhere? Then came labels boasting “zero grams of trans fat.” “Sugar free” and “low sodium” claims soon joined the chorus. These days, gluten-free foods are all the rage.
For the most part, these food industry trends echoed the nutritional mantras of the time and were designed to improve our health — especially cardiovascular health. Not only is heart disease the nation’s leading killer, there’s overwhelming evidence that better dietary choices could prevent many heart attacks and strokes. But just how successful have these efforts been?