Have you heard the news last week about trans fat? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed to no longer consider partially hydrogenated oils or the source of trans fat as “generally recognized as safe,” thus eliminating it from food. As a dietitian, this is awesome news! My husband told me and I let out a “woo-hoo!” I have been baffled by all the research we had against artificial trans fats and I still had to go into a grocery store and be a detective to find out if I was about to feed my family trans fat for dinner.
Heart disease and uncontrolled diabetes are such an intertwined cocktail of damage to the body and if we can at least eliminate an unnecessary ingredient in our food suppl,y then I think it’s reason to celebrate. Of course, we are not in the clear by any means, as there are many other contributors to heart disease but it’s a small milestone!
Trans fat has been lingering in lots of areas such as frostings, bakery items, frozen pizzas, pies, margarines, and coffee creamers. Artificial trans fats are man-made fats that have been shown to increase LDL cholesterol, promoting cardiovascular disease.
The ruling is technically open to comment for 60 days and companies still have room to prove that trans fat are safe, but many have realized the impact of trans fat and have replaced them with other oils. In 2003, the FDA required that artificial trans fats be listed on food labels. Since 2006, Americans have reduced their consumption on average by 3.6 grams. From 2000 to 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that blood levels of trans fatty acids decreased by 58 percent. This shows how changing government regulations directly affects our patient's health.