The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made plans to require the entire food industry to eliminate trans fats from its products. This announcement comes after the FDA proclaimed in earlier statements that trans fats (though rarely seen in existence in foods other than highly-processed items and restaurant entrees after the FDA required special trans fat labeling in 2006) are no longer “generally recognized as safe,” which is perhaps not a huge newsflash for those who know trans fats are usually considered the worst kind of fat for the heart.
However, trans fats are indeed still found in some products. As reported by the Huffington Post, “Though they have been removed from many items, the fats are still found in processed foods, including some microwave popcorns and frozen pizzas, refrigerated doughs and ready-to-use frostings. They are also sometimes used by restaurants that use the fats for frying. Many larger chains have phased them out, but smaller restaurants may still get trans fats from suppliers.”
Madelyn Fernstrom, a NBC News diet and health editor, explains that trans fats are still consumed: “While estimates of dietary intake of trans fats among Americans has decreased nearly 75 percent in about a decade, there remain concerns about the inclusion of any trans fats in foods.”
FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg claims that the move to completely can trans fats could prevent “20,000 heart attacks a year and 7,000 deaths.”
No timeline for the phase-out has been firmly established, but according to Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, we may see changes within six to 12 months.
The best way to keep trans fats out of your diet? Cook at home as much as possible. Here at One Green Planet, we’ve long since avoided trans fats in our own meals and recipes.
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