Artificial Trans Fats Officially Phased out of U.S. Food
As of June 18, 2018, U.S., food manufacturers can no longer add artificial trans-fat to food. Partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) are the main source of artificial trans-fat in processed foods. In 2015, the Food and Drug Administration ruled trans fats no longer Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). FDA gave US food-manufacturers three years to remove this unhealthy ingredient. Companies use artificial trans fats in processed foods to prolong shelf life, increase heat tolerance, and improve texture. While artificial trans fats help your food last longer on the shelf, they are extremely harmful to your health.
Artificial Trans Fats Linked to Disease
Artificial trans fats are made by injecting hydrogen atoms into vegetable fat, hence the name partially hydrogenated oils. When the molecules in the vegetable fat are altered, your body does not recognize them as food. This causes the body to increase bad cholesterol and decrease good cholesterol. This change also increases the risk for nearly every type of disease, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, cancer, and obesity.
A Step Towards a Healthier Country
Companies in the U.S. have removed almost 100% of artificial trans fats from their products since the FDA’s ruling. “However, to allow for an orderly transition in the marketplace, FDA is allowing more time for products produced prior to June 18, 2018, to work their way through distribution. FDA is extending the compliance date for these foods to January 1, 2020.” To be sure you are avoiding artificial trans fats, it is best to stick to whole fresh foods and avoid processed foods.
Removing this harmful ingredient should decrease the prevalence of heart disease, the number one cause of death in the U.S. “Ridding the food supply of partially hydrogenated oils will save tens of thousands of lives each year,” said Michael F Jacobson, former executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. NYC and Denmark experienced declining rates of metabolic disease after banning artificial trans fats from their food supply.