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FDA Bids Farewell to Trans Fats

FDA Bids Farewell to Trans Fats

Over the next three years, food manufacturers will be forced to remove partially hydrogenated oils from products.

This sweeping change to the foods we eat was determined Tuesday, June 9th by the FDA when they decided to remove trans fats from its ”generally recognized as safe” list.

The FDA has reviewed the mounting evidence that links the consumption of trans fats to an increased risk for heart disease.

What Are Trans Fats?

Trans fats or trans fatty acids are formed when liquid oils are turned into solid fats.  The process is similar to how shortening turns into hard margarine.

Trans fats are used because they increase shelf life and help food retain its flavor.  While trans fats are found in small quantities naturally in foods like beef, pork, lamb and butter, the majority of trans fats we consume are manmade.

Am I Eating Trans Fats?

Trans fats can be found in nearly every product sold at your local grocery store.  If you’re curious to how many trans fats your family is consuming, consult the nutrition labels in your pantry.  The FDA has required manufacturers to list trans fats since 2006.

Are Trans Fats Really That Bad?

Harvard University calls trans fats “the worst fat for you to consume” and it’s easy to agree.

Consuming too many trans fats leads to increased LDL cholesterol and studies show it also reduced beneficial HDL cholesterol.  Trans fats are also known to create inflammation which is linked to heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other chronic conditions.  Research from the Harvard School of Public Health and elsewhere indicates that trans fats can harm health in even small amounts: for every 2% of calories from trans fat consumed daily, the risk of heart disease rises by 23%.

How the FDA Decision Will Change What Your Family Eats

Food manufacturers must work diligently to comply with the new standards.  Expect the foods you buy not to last as long in your pantry.  While this may cause some inconvenience, you can have peace of mind knowing your family isn’t consuming harmful trans fats with each nibble.