Thank you FDA!!! They announced yesterday that artificial trans fats…a key ingredient in everything from pastries to pizzas to microwave popcorn for as long as most can remember…is going to be fazed out from American food. And it's directly because it's a risk to public health.
The Food and Drug Administration is saying that the change could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths caused by heart disease every single year.
It's a word we hear all the time, but let's start by figuring out what the heck a trans fat is. From a manufacturers point of view, it's something that enhances flavor and texture and increases the shelf-life of products. Scientifically, it's a double Carbon bond. And because of that, to make a long story short…it's an artery-clogging substance that your body doesn't process, digest or absorb.
Lots of restaurants and manufacturers have already started getting rid of trans fats, but they're still in things like pancake mixes, ready-made frosting and packaged cookies. So read your labels. And it's not good enough to grab the packaging that touts '0 Trans Fats.' Because oddly enough…the FDA says anything that has .5 grams of trans fats or less per serving gets to say that. (We can rub our foreheads together on that one.) Look for the words 'partially hydrogenated' in the ingredients and if you see that…step away from the food. The good news is that hopefully soon, we won't have to worry about trans fats anymore thanks to the FDA. No word on the time frame on this…let's hope it's soon.