Targeting Trans Fats

By Erika Edwards

Published 11/08 2013 12:17PM

Updated 11/08 2013 12:24PM

NEW YORK -- The Food and Drug Administration has begun the process of banning trans fats from our food supply.

Since the 1950s partially hydrogenated oils, a.k.a. "trans fats" have been used widely in processed foods to increase shelf life and stabilize flavors.

Now we know trans fats increase LDLs, the bad cholesterol.

"The problem with trans fatty acids is they also lower good cholesterol, HDL cholesterol," explains Dr. David Frid, a cardiologist with the Cleveland Clinic.

Citing this and other scientific evidence of the dangers of trans fats, the Food and Drug Administration has made the preliminary determination that trans fats are no longer "generally recognized as safe" for use in food.

Experts predict the change would have a major public health impact.

"Decreasing trans fatty acids or removing them completely would eliminate about 20,000 cardiac events a year," Dr. Frid predicts.

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