7 facts about trans fats and your diet

(KSDK) – The Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that its labeling trans fat no longer safe and would require foods to have it phased out.

But what is trans fat, and how does it affect your life?

We're giving you seven things to know about trans fat and your health.

  1. Trans fat is also known as trans fatty acids or PHOs, according to the U.S. Department of agriculture. They are formed through hydrogenation, which is formed when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to create a more solid fat. This process has been used to increase shelf life of food and maintain flavor.
  2. In 2006, the FDA required all packaged foods list trans fat on nutritional facts labels. If total fat is less than 0.5 grams per serving, then trans fat can be labeled as zero or "not a significant source of trans fat." Even with the zero though, make sure to check ingredients for words such as "hydrogenated oil" for trans fat intake.
  3. Trans fats help raise bad cholesterol. According to the Center for Disease Control, reducing trans fat consumption, especially artificial trans fat, could prevent 10,000-20,000 heart attacks and 3,000-7,000 coronary heart disease deaths per year.
  4. So how does it get into your body? Through processed foods such as cookies, cakes, frozen pizza, microwave popcorn, stick margarines, coffee creamers and ready-to-use frostings, according to the FDA.
  5. More than 10 years ago, McDonald's stopped frying its food in trans fat.
  6. Countries such as Denmark and Switzerland have enforced strict regulations for the sale of food containing trans fats, according to News Medical's website.
  7. Even with possible phasing out, trans fat would not be completely gone as it is naturally in small amounts of meat and dairy products.


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