The FDA announced that it’s moving toward further limiting trans fats in processed foods because the agency has decided that there’s no acceptable limit for human health.
Trans fats are popular because they give foods taste and texture while improving shelf life. But they’ve also been directly linked to heart disease. The CDC recommends keeping trans fat consumption as low as possible because they increase LDL low-density lipoprotein or “bad cholesterol” and decrease HDL high-density lipoprotein or “good cholesterol”. The agency states that further reducing trans fats in American diets could prevent 10,000-20,000 heart attack deaths and 3,000-7,000 coronary heart disease deaths every year. Personally, I’m shocked that knowing their death toll anyone would eat a food with trans fats. But surprisingly, these artery cloggers are still in quite a few of the processed foods that we Americans can’t seem to resist.
5 Processed Foods Brimming with Trans Fats
You know you love them, whether at your Friday morning office meeting or with a cup of potent coffee at the coffee shop. But doughnuts are loaded with trans fats and if the ban goes into place they just won’t be the same. Without trans fats they’ll likely be slightly more oily than what we’re used to. But I’ll take the oil if it means I won’t drop dead from a heart attack after the morning meeting.
Microwavable and movie popcorn are currently loaded with trans fats but if the ban goes into place, they may have to use actual butter in their “butter flavor” popcorn. I think the more obvious question is: why weren’t they using butter in butter popcorn beforehand?
3. Frozen Pizza
Frozen pizza contains trans fats but with the ban, food manufacturers may have to switch to vegetable oil. But the pizza might not last as long. “We don’t want other additives to make these last longer. Do we really want something in our food that can stay in our pantry for three years?” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, a wellness manager and registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio on Time.
4. Cookies and Crackers
Cookies and crackers tend to contain trans fats because it improves their texture and keeps them crisp.
5. Refrigerated Dough and Pie Crusts
While ready-made dough and pie crusts can make homemade dessert that much simpler to make, they also contain trans fats. But with the new ban, food manufacturers will likely switch to regular canola. (Look out for the canola oil; it’s mostly GMO.)
Image: Amy Loves Yah