Trans Fat Free Zone


By: Nikki Nies

If you haven’t heard yet, the FDA has announced the elimination of trans fat free products in the near future.  I’m partly surprised, partly shocked that the FDA has finally acknowledged they have the power to make a national change.  With the recent announcement that the FDA will be banning the use of trans fat in the food industry, it is one very giant step forward. It should be noted the FDA is not going after eliminating the trans fat in meat and dairy as it’s not considered as much of a public health concern.

The intention of using trans fat includes increasing shelf life, improving texture and/or flavor. They are sometimes called partially hydrogenated oils due to their formation.  Trans fat are formed when hydrogen’s combined with vegetable oil, which makes it more solid.

trans-fatFoods that contain trans fat will no longer be “generally recognized as safe ” (GRAS). Unfortunately,  this will not be an overnight overhaul, but the FDA has announced the ‘phase out’ of the use of trans fats in microwave popcorn, fried foods,  baked goods, cookies, etc.  Within the next 2 months, the FDA will be assessing how much work needs to be done to remove trans fat from products.  Products timeline of becoming trans fat free is determinant on how long it takes to find a substitute for the trans fat.

The food industry’s come a long with since the introduction of trans fat, with continuing evidence showing there’s no health benefits from consuming products that contain trans fat.  Let me remind you, trans fat are said to increase LDL cholesterol level, “bad cholesterol” and lowering HDL cholesterol levels, considered the “good cholesterol.” By eliminating trans fat from products altogether, it’s estimated an additional 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths could be prevented.

Dietary recommendations state one shouldn’t consume more than 1 g of trans fat per day and within the next couple of years, that’ll be more attainable for many more Americans once trans fat have been completely eliminated from food production.  Thanks FDA


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