FDA to ban trans fats in foods
Artificial Trans Fats, also known as Trans fatty Acids (TFAs) are popular for their long shelf life. They are commonly used in snacks such as popcorns, baked and fried foods. In the past, FDA issued a limit on the amount of Trans Fats that can be used on food products. It required that no more than 0.5 grams of Trans Fat be used per serving. This way they were able to reduce the amount of these dangerous fats. Although its consumption has been reduced, the oil is still being used in some products. Therefore, it still poses a health risk for consumers. In this light, FDA plan to ban the use of Trans Fats totally. Former FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg was one of many who worked to pass such legislation.
What are Trans Fats
There are two types of Trans Fats, that is, artificial and natural. Natural Trans Fats are produced naturally, by some animals, in their guts. Therefore, they pose no health risks. On the other hand, artificial Trans Fats are produced through the hydrogenation of vegetable oils, during processing. The process of hydrogenation helps to increase their shelf life, give foods a palatable taste and a desirable texture.
What TFA Ban Will Mean
A ban of TFAs, by the FDA, will mean the following.
• Reduced Heart Diseases
If FDA bans artificial Trans Fats, there will be a decrease in the number of heart issues caused by their consumption. Artificial TFAs tend to raise the amount of bad cholesterol in the body while lowering the amount of good cholesterol (HDL). Also, it adversely affects the lipoprotein ratio in the body. In so doing, TFAs make one vulnerable to heart attacks and other heart conditions.
• Prevention Type II Diabetes
Research conducted on over 80,000 women indicated that Trans Fats increased the risk of Type II Diabetes by up to 40%
TFAs are said to trigger ischemic strokes. Besides, these fats tend to clog in arteries, thus, causing strokes.
With the risk imposed by TFAs, using it in small quantities does not prove to decrease the health risks. Therefore, the move by FDA to completely ban TFAs by the year 2018 is justified.
Suggested TFAs Alternatives
Instead of using TFAs in foods, FDA recommends that other healthy alternatives be used. Here are some alternatives to TFAs.
• Using saturated fats in smaller amounts.
• Saturated vegetable fats
• Blending polyunsaturated and monounsaturated vegetable oils. This will give you the taste, texture and long life associated with Trans Fats.