Recently, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made strides toward eliminating trans fats in the marketplace. The FDA preliminarily determined that hydrogenated oils, a large component of trans fats, are no longer “generally recognized as safe.”
According to the FDA, if this determination is finalized, partially hydrogenated oils will become food additives that could not be used in food without approval. Foods with unapproved additives cannot legally be sold.
Trans fats are typically found in highly processed foods. The American Heart Association stands firmly behind the scientific evidence stating that “eating trans fat increases production of bad cholesterol, a leading risk factor in heart disease.”
The U.S. and many other countries are taking a stand on trans fats through educational campaigns, more stringent regulations, and more recently, legal actions. So far, these measures have helped. According to the FDA, trans fat intake among U.S. consumers decreased from 4.6 grams per day in 2003 to just a gram per day in 2012.
Foods to avoid include:
- Biscuits, muffins, pies and pie crusts, and packaged frostings.
- Some stick margarine and vegetable shortening
- Ground beef and packaged meat sticks
- Cake mixes, pancake/waffle mixes
- Anything fried or battered, such as french fries, chicken, doughnuts, and Asian crunchy noodles
- Snack foods such as chips, cookies, crackers, packaged pudding, and microwave popcorn
- Ice cream, nondairy creamers, frozen or creamy beverages
- Frozen dinners