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FDA Sets Out to Ban Trans Fats

Christine Eke3 years ago

Trans fats have been slowly disappearing from the food industry over the past decade after accruing a bad reputation for their damaging effects on the heart. The Food and Drug Administration could be ending that battle once and for all.

What Are Trans Fats?

  • Trans fats are a man-made substance that result when hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oil to make it more solid, which is why they are often referred to as ‘partially hydrogenated oils’
  • Trans fats are widely considered the worst kind of fat, and have been linked to heart disease, the number one cause of death in the U.S.
  • Trans fats are used in processed foods and restaurants to improve texture and flavor of food, and to extend the shelf life.
  • Scientists say that trans fats have no health benefits; rather they can raise the LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
  • Trans fats are still found in microwave popcorn, frozen pizzas, refrigerated doughs, ready-to-use frostings and other processed foods.

FDA's Efforts to Ban Trans Fats

  • Accordng to FOX News, the FDA will require the food industry to gradually phase out all trans fats, believing them to be a threat to people’s health.
  • Though the agency has not finalized a phase-put timeline, it anticipates it should only take 6-12 months, as food companies and restaurants have been on alert of the dangers of trans fats for a decade now.
  • Since 2003 the average consumption of trans fats have cut down to less than a quarter of the amount (4.6 grams to 1 gram) as many restaurants and food companies have taken them out of their foods.
  • But the FDA projects that up to 20,000 heart attacks could be prevented per year after the total ban of trans fats, and up to 7,000 lives could be saved.
  • The FDA has already taken trans fats out of the “generally safe to consume” category, where thousands of other food additives still remain.
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