"This is a Massive Win for Public Health"

Posted: Jun 16, 2015 3:03 PM
"This is a Massive Win for Public Health"

Heart health is taking a positive turn today as the FDA finally banned artificial trans fats in processed foods, an action aimed to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year.

Because of the crackdown on trans fat that has been ongoing for nearly five decades, most of our nations favorites, including Doritos and Oreos-- have already been rid of trans fats, and in 2003 to 2012 our nation reduced its trans fat consumption by 78 percent. However, companies like General Mills and Nestle still sneak by with the harmful hydrogenated oils (trans fats) in order to preserve shelf life, improve texture and keep the food coloring stable, leading to somewhere between 30,000 and 100,000 premature deaths.

Now, the FDA holds strong to any artificial trans fat in processed foods as not "generally recognized as safe" for use in human foods and assuming this food policy will stick, this targeted action is sure to save many.

“This is a massive win for public health,” said Sam Kass, the former senior adviser for nutrition at the White House and executive director of Let’s Move!, noting that FDA has estimated removing trans fat could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and some 7,000 deaths.

However, with such action being implemented it's a personal choice to make the healthful decision and not rely on government intervention for a better life. There are many ways that Americans can choose a healthier lifestyle. With awareness in knowing what kinds of fats you should be obtaining it's our personal choice to completely rid of trans fats.

What kinds of fats are in your food?

Unsaturated fat: These are the good fats. Sources are nuts, vegetable oils and fish. For cooking, they usually come in the form of liquid oils, not solid fats.

Saturated fat: These fats are mostly derived from animals. They raise "bad" cholesterol and can contribute to heart disease. Sources include high-fat cheeses, high-fat cuts of meat, whole-fat milk and cream, butter, ice cream and coconut oils.

Trans fat: These are the worst fats. Many have already been phased out, but foods that are more likely to contain trans fats are fried items, microwave popcorn, frozen pizza, cakes, cookies, pie crusts, stick margarine, ready-to-use frosting and coffee creamers.

The FDA has set a compliance period of three years that will enable companies to get rid of the PHOs (trans fats) or petition the FDA to permit specific uses of PHOs ultimately pushing our nation to a heart healthy, long living and thriving environment.