FDA bans trans-fat in foods

In what officials are calling a highly important step forward, those at the Food and Drug Administration have announced an official ban of substances known as trans fats. These artificially engineered fats have long been in the sights of health officials who believe they are responsible for many serious health problems. Officials today have announced that companies, federal agencies and private spaces have three years in which to finish phasing them out of any foodstuffs. While many food manufacturers have begun to phase them out, others have not. This ruling is intended to help push such companies in the right direction and give them more incentives to do so.

Getting Them Out of the Food Supply

Health officials have become increasingly aware of just how dangerous it can to have such items in the food supply. Such fats have been directly linked to heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. Sudden heart attacks have been directly linked to this form of fat. The fats are used to help extend shelf life for baked goods. When the fats are added to many baked goods, it appears to make the item fresh enough to sell to consumers for a lot longer. However, the net result are unhealthy goods that may directly cause serious problems when eaten. Margaret Hamburg, who previously served as FDA Commissioner help spearhead the ban.

The Formation of Trans Fats

Trans fats are formed as part of the process of creating foods for sale. They happen when the liquid oils that are used in baking are inadvertently chemically altered via a process that has been dubbed hydrogenation. As a result, the fats that are used can respond far more like butter. Such fats also have a similar taste when cooked. Unfortunately, the process that is used to crate them ultimately makes the fats even more unhealthy than alternatives such as butter and possibly even far more dangerous.

No Longer Safe

The new FDA ruling will recognize that such trans fats are no longer seen as generally safe for human consumption. Under this ruling, any company will now have to ask for specific permission from the agency should they decide to use them again. It is hoped this will do much to discourage the use of such fats and help Americans buy products such as baked goods and fried items that are hopefully healthier for consumption. Nutrition advocacy groups are applauding the ruling as they hope it will help Americans eat healthier food.