The Food and Drug Administration of America has decided that trans fat will be officially phased out of products such as store bought cookies. The process will be over 3 years, and by 2018 all trans fats will be eliminated. The FDA claims that this will save nearly 7,000 people a year from dying prematurely due to cardiovascular episodes caused by trans fat.
Trans fat was exposed as the artery-clogging culprit that increases our risks of heart disease, stroke and heart attacks. They are formed when a manufacturer turns a liquid fat into a solid one through process called hydrogenation. These hydrogenated fats creep into crackers, margarine, frozen pizzas and granola bars. They help to keep the shelf life of the processed food.
Eating trans fat rich foods has been proven to lead to an increase in belly fat. Among it's other health risks, it also causes inflammation which blocks appetite controlling neurotransmitters, leaving you thinking you're more hungry then you actually are. Studies have shown that cutting out these hydrogenated fats can help aid weight loss and get rid of belly bulge.
While processed foods also contain a laundry list of other chemicals, taking out one is at least a start. The question is, manufacturers will still have to find a replacement to keep in the food production business, so what alternative will be going into frozen pizzas and pie crusts? The answer could be palm oil. An oil already found in many fast foods, which has the same effect as hydrogenated trans fat. Palm oil is extremely high in saturated fat (which can lead to coronary heart disease, something the FDA is trying to prevent) and the harvesting of palm oil means the deforestation of rain forests and the endangerment of orangutans and other species.
The most important part of being a smart consumer is reading labels, and knowing what to stay away from. Share your thoughts about the FDA's decision with us! Do you think the FDA should plan to ban more chemicals from food?