Due to overwhelming evidence, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now ruled that partially hydrogenated oils (aka Trans fats) are no longer safe. As a result the FDA has banned their future use and food manufacturers have a maximum of three years to remove these artificial trans fats from the US food supply.
What is partially hydrogenated oil/trans fat?
Partially hydrogenated oils (PHO’s) are created by pumping hydrogen into vegetable oil, this makes it more solid. PHO’s are most often added to make processed foods such as ready meals, pizza’s cakes, margarine, biscuits and pies and non-dairy creamers. The trans fats are a cheap way to improve the texture, shelf life and flavour of processed foods.
Why are they so bad for us?
Cardiovascular risk :- Consuming Trans Fats is a double whammy – they not only increase “bad” LDL cholesterol but they also reduce “good” HDL cholesterol in a person’s bloodstream. The FDA has estimated that removing PHO’s from food could prevent as many as 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease every year in the USA alone.
Memory affects:- A new study published this month also suggests that Trans Fats may play havoc with your memory too. In this study the researchers found that young men who ate high levels of Trans Fats performed significantly more poorly in a memory test recalling words, than those who ate lower levels. Alarmingly those on high daily intake of trans fat recalled 12 to 21 fewer words, out of an average score of 86 – this equates to up to 24% loss of recall.
I wonder how long it will take the UK to follow suit?
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