Looking at the labels of many store-bought foods, you will find trans fats listed as ingredients. This hydrogenated vegetable oil prolongs the shelf life of most processed foods and is rather unhealthy. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, trans fats will increase your bad cholesterol and decrease the good stuff.1 Additionally, it may also increase triglycerides Lp(a) lipoprotein and inflammation. While it may sound easy enough to avoid foods with trans fats, the FDA has announced steps toward banning the ingredient.2
"While consumption of potentially harmful artificial trans fat has declined over the last two decades in the United States, current intake remains a significant public health concern," FDA commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said in a statement.
Based on scientific evidence, the FDA has opened a 60-day comment period in which to collect input regarding the ban of trans fat. This would require reformulation of a number of products by food manufacturers, which will undoubtedly cause an uproar. However, the FDA feels as though this is a necessary step toward protecting Americans from the dangerous ingredient.
Although a number of manufacturers have reduced use of trans fat in years of late, it is still common in items like frozen pizza, microwave popcorn and coffee creamers. With movement toward banning trans fats from these and other processed foods, the FDA could potentially improve the heart health of a large portion of the population. And it is unlikely that diners will detect any changes to taste once food recipes are redesigned.3
1 Mayo Clinic, "Trans fat is double trouble for your heart health" May 6, 2011
2 U.S. Food and Drug Administration, "FDA takes step to further reduce trans fats in processed foods" November 7, 2013
3 Associated Press, "FDA to ban artery-clogging trans fats" November 7, 2013