Last week the FDA banned trans fats. Good riddance! Trans fats are known to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke because of their artery clogging properties, and for raising the “bad” cholesterol that also obstructs arteries. They can also increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Although trans fats occur naturally in small amounts in meats and dairy products, most trans fats are manufactured and added to processed foods artificially. Why? Because it is known to enhance the flavor, texture and shelf life of many products, especially (sob) french fries that can contain up to 40% trans fats. Sometimes listed as partially hydrogenated fat, they are also found in fried chicken, cookies, crackers, pastries, donuts, pies, cakes, chips, margarine and lots of other processed foods.
Thanks to former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, famously accused of creating a “nanny state,” there have been no trans fats allowed in New York City since July of 2008. Good riddance indeed. The FDA, having previously approved them, finally got it right. It is estimated that the banning of trans fats nationwide will save thousands of lives a year!