Transitioning away from trans fats

transfatToday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced its preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils, the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not “generally recognized as safe” for use.

Based on scientific findings, the FDA’s preliminary determination could mean the artery-clogging fats may be phased out of the U.S. food supply. Trans fats are commonly found in snack foods like microwave popcorn, cake mixes, some margarines and vegetable shortenings, certain fast foods and commercially prepared baked foods such as cookies and pies, etc.

The FDA points out that consumption of trans fat raises low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, increasing the risk of coronary heart disease. The independent Institute of Medicine has found that trans fat has no known health benefit and that there is no safe level of consumption of artificial trans fat.

Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, the FDA’s commissioner, said the proposal could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year.

Eliminating trans fats is an important component of a healthy diet. If you need more information or support for eating healthier, contact our nutrition and lifestyle coaches at 917-7468 or click here for details on Sarasota Memorial’s Outpatient Nutrition Program.

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