Some fat free potato chips contain Olean. Is that bad for you?

In 1996 the US Food and Drug Administration announced that use of products made with olestra (brand name Olean) was safe. Olean replaces fat in many snack food items. It does not get digested by your body and will travel through your system unabsorbed. Several consumer complaints were released associated with side effects from use of Olean. Some consumers noted that their stools became loose and more frequent. The FDA reviewed years of scientific research including clinical studies of people who include Olean products as part of their diet. They again concluded that the product is safe, and there was no need to warn consumers of side effects.

Olean is fat and calorie free. Choosing products made with Olean may help you to control your weight and caloric consumption. However, keep in mind that the snacks made with Olean are not calorie free. You still need to consume these products in moderation and be aware of portion sizes. In addition, many of these products are high in sodium and low in fiber. Try to snack on healthy high fiber foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. If you have a craving for a snack that is salty/crunchy, try a handful of almonds and raisins or air popped corn sprinkled with low-fat Parmesan cheese.

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