Soon, you can quit worrying about any artery-clogging fat being sneaked into your food. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reportedly banning hydrogenated oil (trans fat) across the food industry, as early as mid-June.
This nationwide ban comes into effect nearly a decade after ex-mayor, Mike Bloomberg, banned it from restaurant menus in New York. Dr Thomas Farley, who served as the health commissioner then, told New York Post that this move was long overdue, and that trans fat should never have been allowed in food, in the first place. If you’re wondering why trans fat is bad for you, and why it was ever given the green flag, read on.
To understand this noxious ingredient, one has to know that trans fats are found in foods cooked with partially hydrogenated oils, which are created by adding hydrogen to liquid oil that then transforms into a solid form. It is used to make packaged or boxed food last longer. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that this feature makes it a food manufacturer’s favorite, since it helps increase the product’s shelf life. Plus, it’s inexpensive and easy to add to many food products. So it was given a go-ahead for products such as creamers, biscuits and cookies, potato/corn/tortilla chips, stick margarine, boxed soup, ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat meals. Thus, many of the foods that come out of a box still contain trans fat.
These fats are known to raise the bad cholesterol (LDL), while simultaneously lowering good cholesterol (HDL). They have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, and many other diseases and conditions. Mayo Clinic has reported trans fat as being ‘the worst type of fat you can eat.’ Hopefully now, the FDA will take necessary steps to banish it completely. Meanwhile, you can go ahead and enjoy heart-healthy, monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil and canola oil.