Trans fats a thing of the past in foods

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Frozen pizza and doughnuts could be foods of the past if the Food and Drug Administration has anything to say about it.

The FDA took the first step today to wipe out most artificial trans fat from the U.S. food supply.

According to CNN, the FDA partially determined that a major source of trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils, is no longer "generally recognized as safe."

If this decision is finalized, the FDA says partially hydrogenated oils will become food additives that cannot be used in food without approval. It is illegal to sell foods with unapproved additives.

"Really the American diet should be limited, if any, of trans fats," Dr. Shane Speights, with St. Bernards, said.

Trans fat is found in frozen pizza, margarine, snack foods, fried foods and baked goods, just to name a few.

"You really don't need a lot of this in your diet. There's really no benefit to you having this," Dr. Speights said.

Eating too many foods with trans fat can have long-term health effects.

"It can increase your risk of heart disease unfortunately and can definitely increase the bad cholesterol, which is your LDL," Dr. Speights said.

To avoid this, Speights said be a label reader.

"When you're talking about going shopping and everything, turn the box to the side and just read. It doesn't take that long to get into the ingredients and see what it's composed of, see what you're taking in. And maybe think twice about what you're putting into your diet," Dr. Speights said. "The problem is that we as Americans have over indulged."

Speights thinks this new FDA proposal could help us out.

"I'm actually glad to see that move because I think that will affect the overall health of our population, it'll make an impact on obesity," Speights said.

However, some in Region 8 are not sold.

"No matter what you do to take away trans fat, somebody's always gonna find a way to be fat," Memphis resident Raymond Lewis said. "If you constitutionalize exercise, that'll actually trim the fat in America, but taking away trans fat is absolutely gonna do nothing."

Others are more hopeful.

"I think that if they tried to take out that while still leaving flavor in it, I mean, I don't think people would really even notice," Brookland resident Susan Murray said.

"These aren't good for you, there's no reason for you to have them in your diet and at the end of the day, you're not gonna miss them once you get used to them not being there," Dr. Speights said.

Dr. Speights stressed not all fats are bad. Our bodies need some to produce cells and hormones.

For a complete list of dietary fat intake recommendations, visit CNN's website.

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