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FDA pushing to eliminate trans fat from food supply

Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 6:59pm

     Maybe you are into cookies. Perhaps you run to a Little Debbie when you are down. If that is the case, your favorite guilty pleasure may be facing new regulations. The Food and Drug Administration is aiming to ban trans fats altogether.

     They say partially hydrogenated oils -- the source of trans fats -- is no longer "generally recognized as safe."

     "Several years ago they really did start to trim down the amount of trans fats that manufactures were putting in those items," said Danielle Townsend, Trinity Mother Frances Clinical Dietitian Manager. "So it is really good to see that we're making that last push to get rid of it altogether."

     And while many restaurants and food companies have already started to cut down, the remaining trace amounts can be extremely harmful to your health, and they add up fast. Even if the trans fat is zero on the label, it does not mean it is not there.

     Companies are only required to put trans fat on the label if there is more than half a gram per serving.

     But if it lists hydrogenated oils under ingredients, it has trans fats. And why are they so bad?

     "It lowers your good cholesterol which is your HDL and it increases your bad cholesterol which is your LDL and over time that can lead to heart disease which is the number one killer of men and women in America," said Blake Branch, General Manager at Total Nutrition.

     So the riding of this fat --- experts say, is a great thing.

     And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that reducing trans fats can prevent 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year and up to 20,000 heart attacks.

     "Saving lives, getting healthier, that's what it's all about," Branch said.

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