The death of trans fats appears to be nearing. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has officially announced plans to phase out this type of unhealthy fat from all processed foods.
The FDA, which made the announcement on Tuesday, says trans fats need to be eliminated from all foods because they raise levels of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, popularly known as “bad” cholesterol. Trans fats are also thought to lower “good” cholesterol.
Backing up the FDA on this one is the Institute of Medicine, which has concluded that there’s nothing safe about the consumption of trans fats.
The good news is that many food companies are already in the process of taking trans fats out of their products. The FDA says that between 2003 and 2012 the amount of trans fats consumed by Americans went down by approximately 78-percent, with most food companies turning to other types of oils.
Wanda Beaver, a Toronto, Canada-based baker, says getting rid of trans fats wasn’t all that difficult. “What we replaced it with is pretty benign,” said Beaver. “It’s canola or soy.”
Still, there are a number of firms that continue to market products with trans fats, and for the FDA that represents “a public health concern.”
Under the new rules, food manufacturers will have a three-year period to phase out all trans fats from their foods. This type of fat is still commonly found in baked goods (i.e., pie crusts and biscuits), frozen foods, coffee creamers, vegetable shortenings, and margarine.