A big change is about to hit grocery store shelves. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration moved Tuesday to force food makers to remove trans fats from the products they produce over the next three years. ?
?Based on a thorough review of the scientific evidence, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today finalized its determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not ?generally recognized as safe? (GRAS) for use in food,? the organization said in a statement.?
Trans fats ? also known as trans fatty acids ? are made when hydrogen is added to unsaturated oils, according to Eric Calloway, PhD, registered dietician and postdoctoral fellow with the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition in Omaha, Neb. This process creates a solid that inexpensively adds texture to and improves the shelf life of foods, making it popular with manufacturers when formulating foods such as snack crackers, frozen pizza, pastries and breaded chicken strips.
But what?s good for food production costs can prove deadly for the people who eat the final products. Champions of eliminating artificial trans fat from foods say life will be infinitely better without the ingredient, but how exactly will you (and your food) benefit from the ban? ?
1. Your Risk for a Heart Attack Will be Slashed
The biggest problem with trans fats is that they raise levels of low-density lipoproteins, the bad type of cholesterol that can build up and narrow the arteries. Constricted arteries leads to higher blood pressure, which in turn can lead to cardiovascular disease and heart attacks, according to Calloway.
Replacing those fatty acids with more heart-health alternatives can keep trans fat-related cholesterol spikes, which in turn lowers risk for heart disease. This translates into a large decrease in the number of people who are hospitalized ? or die from ? heart disease.
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