FDA Bans Trans Fat

I don’t have much confidence in the FDA and how they regulate but it’s nice to see that at least some attempt (no matter how pathetic) is being made to better our food. I strongly advocate avoiding processed foods all together but for that’s not totally possible and I understand. I have my moments of weakness as well.

Out of the thousands of harmful and unnatural chemicals used to treat our food that FDA is FINALLY declaring that “trans fats” or also known as partially hydrogenated oils are no longer considered “safe.” Well, at least they finally admitted the obvious. HOWEVER…. this ban isn’t an overnight deal, it’s more like “over the next three years”. Checkout more information in this article Bonnie Brost Duluth News Tribune for more details…

U.S Food and Drug Administration Sets to Ban Trans Fat

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently announced that partially hydrogenated oils or trans fats are no longer considered safe and will be banned from all foods in three years. 

Research shows trans fats have no health benefits and can damage our hearts and brains. Trans fats lower good HDL cholesterol, raise bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, increase insulin resistance and increase inflammation in our bodies. The FDA has estimated the ban could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year. This is also expected to reduce the number of strokes and dementia diagnoses.

Trans fats are created when hydrogen gas is added to a liquid oil, which transforms it into a semi-solid product like shortening. The process became popular in the 1950s to help extend the shelf life of processed foods and baked goods. Trans fats proved to be a good preservative for processed foods — but not good for our bodies.

Trans fats have been on the villain stage for more than 10 years. Before 2000, research showed the artery-clogging fats were very unhealthy. By 2006, food manufacturers had to show how much trans fat was in a product. But if there is less than 0.5 gram per serving, the nutrition facts can say zero. This labeling requirement will continue for the next three years.

The FDA estimates consumption of trans fats fell by 78 percent from 2003 to 2012. You can see this on grocery store shelves. Very few crackers, snack foods, peanut butter and cereals have hydrogenated oils today. Foods that still have trans fats include donuts, pies, pastries, some breads, movie and microwave popcorn, frozen pizzas, refrigerated dough products, some creamers, stick margarines and canned frostings.

I don’t believe the American diet will become a lot healthier simply by banning trans fats. Foods that still have trans fats are unhealthy in other ways. Many contain a lot of refined sugar, sodium and saturated fat. These foods will remain unhealthy, even if the manufacturer uses another type of fat. And depending on what replacement fat is used, they could become even less healthy.

So, let’s allow the trans fats issue to melt away and instead focus our energies on practicing lifestyle habits that benefit our hearts and brains. Let’s choose foods that are minimally processed and have a small number of ingredients with no hydrogenated oils. I recommend picking up a copy of Dr. David Katz’s book, “Disease Proof: The Remarkable Truth About What Makes Us Well,” and putting into practice what he shares. Try the Mediterranean diet, which Dr. Katz recommends as the “sweet spot” for healthy eating because it includes lots of fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, beans and legumes.

If you think about it the FDA was the one that originally approved trans fats to be used in out food so how many other additives have been proved and are no longer safe? I avoid that processed junk and go for the natural.

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