For people concerned with weight loss help or those who want to better their lives with healthy living, we have some good news. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is in the beginning stages of removing trans fats from foods.
Partially hydrogenated oils, which are the primary dietary source of trans fats, will no longer obtain the "generally recognized as safe" label, which is required for all food and drugs produced in the U.S. This recent decision was put forth after numerous scientists and health experts determined that trans fats have terrible consequences for human health.
"The FDA's action today is an important step toward protecting more Americans from the potential dangers of trans fat. Further reduction in the amount of trans fat in the American diet could prevent an additional 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year – a critical step in the protection of Americans' health." Dr. Margaret Hamburg, the commissioner of the FDA, explained in a statement.
What are trans fats? And why are they bad for me?
According to the Mayo Clinic, trans fats are considered "double trouble" for your heart health, mainly because they raise "bad" LDL cholesterol levels and lower your "good" HDL cholesterol levels. This puts you at a greater risk of heart disease, which is currently the No. 1 cause for death among both men and women in the U.S.
Although some levels of trans fat occur naturally in meat and dairy products, trans fats are usually obtained when hydrogen is added to standard vegetable oil during the manufacturing process. This allows for a product to have a much longer shelf life, which is why some fast-food restaurants and processed grocery items contain them. Although researchers aren't sure why trans fats are worse for your heart health than others, it is clear that a ban could help improve the lives of millions of Americans.
Trans fat in the U.S.
Foods with trans fats aren't just bad for a weight loss plan, they can have serious consequences on public health, which is why the FDA is moving forward with these strict regulations. Many grocery store chains and companies that provide ingredients for restaurants have already removed items containing trans fats from their shelves voluntarily. Some local governments, such as New York City's, have their own bans in place. However, these new regulations would put an end to trans fat consumption for all.
The FDA has been slowly working toward removing trans fats from foods for many years, according to The Associated Press, and it is beginning to pay off. In 2003, the average American consumed 4.6 grams of trans fat per day. In 2012, that number decreased to just 1 gram of trans fat per day. The FDA also revamped their nutritional labels in 2006 to include the percentage of trans fats in foods so that consumers would become more aware of them.
With a ban in place, Americans can now work toward better heart health and lowered cholesterol levels, both of which play a role in a balanced diet.
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