Thankfully for some, the FDA started targeting trans fats on Thursday, proposing to make it illegal, saying that it’s not “generally recognized as safe.” That’s probably a good idea.
According to the FDA, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that a further reduction of trans fat in the food supply can prevent an additional 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year and up to 20,000 heart attacks each year.” That’s a lot of people that could be saved. And though they can’t cut trans fat out all the way—it’s still found naturally in some foods—the FDA has issued a Federal Register that would get the ball rolling on making trans fats illegal.
“PHOs [partially hydrogenated oils, a major dietary source of trans fat] would become food additives subject to premarket approval by FDA,” the press release said. “Foods containing unapproved food additives are considered adulterated under U.S. law, meaning they cannot legally be sold.”
This could mean goodbye over-processed cookies, donuts, pizza and other comfort food.
But as of right now, the FDA urges consumers to lowest combined amount of saturated fat, cholesterol and trans fat. “Selecting foods with even small amounts of trans fat can add up to a significant intake,” said the FDA.
PHOs are the results of hydrogen being added to liquid oils to make solid fats, increasing the shelf life and flavor of some of your favorite, savory foods. If you’re not on a diet already, you should consider it. Your trans fat-heavy diet might be out of date relatively soon.