Bye, Bye Trans Fats

Well, it’s official; we have said good-bye to our old ‘frenemy’ trans fats.  This is according to a new report out from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.   They have called it a public health threat. I say, good riddance! It’s about time.

So, start saying good-bye to this stuff in microwave popcorn, crackers, frosting, frozen pizzas, sprinkles, creamer and piecrusts….among many, many other products. Manufacturers will have to find another way to make these processed foods without trans fats, or petition the government to request its use.

The FDA has determined that partially hydrogenated oils found in trans fats in processed foods are not ‘generally recognized as safe’ or GRAS in human food. This includes foods sold in grocery stores, restaurants, bakeries or anywhere else. It also applies to food produced in the U.S. or imported and sold in this country.

Food manufacturers have three years to remove trans fats and comply with the government – time to reformulate products and also allow manufacturers to petition the government to allow for specific use. The FDA believes compliance of the removal will transpire sooner than the given time of three years.

So, what’s so bad about trans fat? It has no nutritional benefit, but long been associated with health risks related to cardiac disease, including raising bad cholesterol levels (LDL cholesterol) and lowering good/healthy cholesterol levels (HDL). It is the worst of the worst type of fat.

It is important to note that the ban does not include naturally occurring trans fats that are found in some animal products such as meat and dairy.

Personally, I’m happy it is finally getting the boot and that the FDA made good on it’s initial guidance. It says it is committed to improving the health of Americans. This decision just solidified it.

The FDA is anticipating the reduction in heart disease and deaths associated with it – reducing 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths per year according to the agency.

You may recall that I blogged about this impending decision recently and low and behold the FDA came through. Congratulations, FDA, for doing the right thing and for following sound medical science to make a decision about something that has been in processed foods for many years.

Now we’ll be joining other countries around the world that have banned it. The World Health Organization calls the ingredient toxic. Toxic. Imagine, and tons of processed foods contain it, it is unimaginable really. It’s good news that it is going to go away.

Soon we will be free to focus on other things like artificial food dyes and artificial sweeteners, both of which I have personally long deemed as unsafe and unnecessary in our food in this country. Other countries agree.

I’m proud our meals do not contain trans fats and are a healthy choice for people looking to steer clear from this artery clogging fat. There’s no wait, we’re already serving freshly prepared meals without trans fat. So, what are you waiting for?