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Eliminating Trans Fat

Posted on 11/14/2013

Last week the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that they are moving towards eliminating trans fat from use in restaurants and in processed foods, such as cookies, crackers, microwave popcorn and much more. What do I think about it? It’s about time! Long over due, if you ask me.  

What’s all the fuss about trans fat? Well, for one thing, there’s just too much of it out there today and it’s clogging arteries. It has been shown to raise “bad cholesterol” and in doing so, increases risks for heart disease and premature death.  

Why is it in use then, if it’s so bad? Trans fats are used mostly to improve texture and stability, which increases shelf life, preserves flavor, improves flakiness in crackers and helps peanut butter from separating, for example. It’s purely used to help manufacturers at the cost of people’s health, in my opinion.  

What happens if this goes through, as planned?  

By reducing use of trans fat, it could potentially prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 heart disease-related deaths each year in the U.S.  

My question again, what took us so long?  

The FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg (yes-really, that’s her name) said the consumption rate has been decreasing over the last two decades, however current intake remains a significant public health concern.  

So, what’s proposed and how is this going to work exactly?  

The FDA has targeted partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of trans fats, which are a food additive that is not “generally found as safe.”  

The new FDA guidelines would require companies who wish to continue to use it, to first seek approval by the FDA. They would also require those companies to not be allowed to market their food contains “zero trans fat” if the product even has a half-gram or less per serving, the current allowed amount to be considered trans fat free on nutritional labels.  

According to the proposal, the FDA will not affect naturally occurring trans fat found in some meat and dairy products.  

I think this is a good step in the name of public health, although I’m no fan of bigger and more government.  I’m so happy that we here at Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating don’t serve trans fat, knowing they are so very unhealthy.  

I’m actually in the minority according to a survey released recently by the Pew Research Center, stating that 52 percent of Americans area opposed to the ban, whereas 44 percent are in favor of a ban of trans fat.  

What do you think readers? Is this good, bad or are indifferent about this decision? I want to hear from you!

post-author

Seattle Sutton, BSN, RN

She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.

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