The Issues with Trans Fats


trans fats

In the beginning of the twenty-first century, there was a massive movement in the food and nutrition space to remove trans fats from all types of food products. Trans fats, or trans-unsaturated fatty acids, are commonly found in products such as vegetable spreads, margarines, and even some pre-packaged fried foods. Trans fats are so dangerous because they are usually a product of industrial production throughout processing of foods. These processed fats can contribute to extremely poor health outcomes with just small amounts of exposure to them through our food. Mainly, trans fats are associated with coronary heart disease, which contributed to an overwhelming proportion of mortality in 2012.

When the movement began, advocates for the elimination of trans fats from food production sought only to mitigate the use of these dangerous fats in the industrial and packaged space. However, not many people knew that there were many fast food and restaurant establishments that were using trans fats in the preparation of their products. French fries, fried chicken, margarines, and a variety of other fatty foods incorporate trans fats into the use of fried foods.

After so much time fighting to eliminate trans fats from the plates and diets of Americans nationwide, the Food and Drug Administration finally deemed trans fats unusable by both industrial producers of food as well as any type of restaurant that wants to use trans fats in their foods. The Food and Drug Administration has a series of standards that they apply to foods as a way to assess the safety of foods and drugs and when it comes to trans fats, the standard of “generally recognized as safe” was removed. Now, food manufacturers will have three years to completely remove trans fats from any of their products.

This is quite a large victory for the American population as public health advocates highlight trans fats as some of the most dangerous substances that we can ingest. Without trans fats in our diets, we can expect to see significant turn around in cardiovascular health outcomes nationwide. However, it will take some time for all trans fats to be completely eliminated from all foods and restaurants. In the meantime, be sure to read nutrition labels on what you buy and ask to see the ones at the restaurant. Most big restaurants must have this informaton for anyone that wants to request it.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Tony Webster

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.