In the early- to mid-1900s, the use of trans-fats skyrocketed, because they were easy to use, had a long shelf-life, and were extremely cost effective to produce. And far from making consumers feel deprived of saturated fats, trans-fats gave foods a taste and texture that many craved. It was even believed that trans-fats were a healthy substitute for saturated fat, but over the years evidence has proven that exactly the opposite is true.
As early as the 1950s, rumbles in the scientific community began, wondering if the trans-fats boom was leading to the large increase of coronary artery disease seen across the country. But it wasn’t until the 1990s that the potentially negative effects of trans-fats were given serious attention.
Now, in 2014, we’ve reached another milestone. The FDA is removing trans-fats from the Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) list—making the unhealthy fats effectively banned. This proposal eliminates the loophole that let manufacturers label their foods as having 0 grams of trans-fats per serving if they contain less than half a gram. With multiple servings, those levels of trans-fats add up, meaning that consumers would be able to eat dangerous levels without even knowing it. Continue reading
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