JOPLIN, MO.--- This week the Food and Drug Administration announced that trans fat is not safe to consume. Trans fat is created when you take a liquid form of oil and turn it into a solid oil, like shortening or margarine. Food production companies use trans fat because it preserves food for longer periods of time, increasing a product's shelf-life. However, the FDA recommends we no longer consume them. Trans fat is an artificial oil that is used to preserve many of the foods we buy at grocery stores. It can be found in many foods like french fries, dessert, and pizza.
"When they first came out with it, it was an alternative to saturated fat. So rather than using butter, we're going to use margarine, rather than using lard, we're going to use shortening," said Jill Shriver, Registered Dietician.
Recent studies conducted by the FDA has determined that a high consumption of trans fat, or partially hydrogenated oils, is extremely unhealthy for human consumption.
"It increases our LDL, which is the bad cholesterol in our blood, and it lowers HDL which is the good cholesterol, the protective cholesterol that we have in our blood stream. So, it also increases the plaque build up, which we have on the inside of our arteries," said Shriver.
That build up increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease.
"In order for us to combat these heart issues now because of our diet, they're going to have to do something major, which is impacting food manufacturing," Shriver.
The FDA is now entering a 60 day period for open commentary on trans fat. The goal is learn more information on the harmful effects of trans fat. FDA officials say banning trans fat could prevent as many as 7,000 deaths and 20,000 heart attacks a year.
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