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FDA May Ban Trans Fats

If you were to look in your kitchen pantry, you might be surprised to find just how many products contain “.” But, fear not. Soon, you may never have to worry about scanning another for that particularly nasty food demon.

Time and time again, studies have found that trans fat created during food processing elevates your LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. That, in turn, increases the likelihood that you will develop heart disease, which is the leading killer of adults, both men and women, in the U.S.

Trans fat, also known as partially hydrogenated oil, is added to many different convenience foods to improve their texture and general shelf life. These foods include crackers, cookies, microwave popcorn, frozen pizza, coffee creamer, refrigerated biscuits and stick margarines.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is finally trying to put an end to trans fat all together by banning it. The organization has made a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils are not Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) and is now in the process of making a final determination about them. When a food ingredient is not GRAS, then companies cannot use it in their products without explicit FDA approval.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention think that if the FDA is successful in its ban, then up to 20,000 cases of coronary heart disease and up to 7,000 deaths can be prevented each year.

Until that happens, check the labels on the foods you buy. Avoid anything that has “trans fat” listed. Also, don’t purchase products with “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredients. If the amount of trans fat is under 0.5 grams a serving, companies are legally allowed to say a product has “0 grams trans fat,” when in reality, that’s not the case. They will, however, have to have “partially hydrogenated oil” in the list of ingredients.

There’s a great list of tips to help you reduce your trans fat intake on the FDA’s website. Check it out, and keep your eyes and ears open as this story continues to unfold.

Sources:
http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm079609.htm
http://www.fda.gov/Food/PopularTopics/ucm373922.htm
http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm372915.htm

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.