Most people are no strangers when it comes to trans-fat. It goes through an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil, which then causes the oil to become solid at room temperature. These fats have found a home in foods such as doughnuts, cookies, cakes, and fried foods. Many would agree that they enjoy these types of indulgences; however, these indulgences come at a price. Trans fat is considered to be one of the worst types of fats a person can eat because it raises their LDL, which is bad cholesterol and lowers their HDL, which is good cholesterol. These two combined increases the risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for men and women. For this reason, the FDA has been aggressively seeking to ban trans-fat in foods.
While the removal of these fats is still in progress, the Food and Drug Administration have been working diligently to see to it that people are made aware of the dangers that these fats bring. In fact, the FDA has made it a requirement that all Nutrition Facts labels identify how much trans-fat is included in each package. This ensures that consumers are aware of what they put in their body, and how these foods affect their overall health. Prior to leaving her position as FDA Commissioner, Margaret Hamburg helped to develop the regulations. Additionally, in 2013, the FDA determined that PHOs, which are industrially produced oils, were no longer safe to further assert the dangers of these foods with high levels of trans fat. The FDA encourages consumers to take it upon themselves to read the labels and pay attention to partially hydrogenated oils to know whether a product contains PHOs.
However, the FDA is currently in the process of doing more than just bringing awareness, they have made great strides when it comes to removing the trans-fat that people commonly eat. The FDA has set a deadline for 2018 for food companies to remove trans-fat from all of their products. In fact, major companies like Starbucks and McDonald’s claim to have stopped using trans-fat in their food.
With that being said, trans fat won’t be completely gone since natural trans fats exist in foods such as, beef, lamb, and dairy products; but, these foods include small amounts of trans fat that would be significantly healthier than processed foods. While this journey to banning trans-fat seems extensive, it is estimated to save $140billion over the next 20 years and will allow for a much healthier America.