The FDA has finally rendered an official verdict on the trans fats lurking in tons of store-bought groceries: get rid of ‘em.
While you may have been aware for years that trans fats are bad for your body—specifically, a major cause of heart disease—you may not have realized how pervasive the fat has been in the foods you’ve eaten. But consumer-advocate groups wary of trans fats who’ve been pushing for an FDA ban finally got an answer this week. All trans fats will be off the market by 2018.
The good news, though, is that we’ve been paying attention to what we’re eating: Trans fat in the American diet has drastically fallen over the past decade, when the FDA required a listing on nutrition labels back in 2006. But even still, these artery-cloggers still exist in small quantities in many products—and every little bit adds up.
The FDA estimates this elimination plan will prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 heart disease deaths every year. Although it will take roughly $6 billion to put their plan of action into full effect, it will likely save the country $140 billion in healthcare costs over the next two decades. So, it’s a fantastic return on investment in many respects.
Keep in mind, though, the decree applies to artificial trans fats only—these types of fats also exist naturally in meat and dairy and develop in small quantities during the manufacturing of certain oils, so you’ll still have to be mindful when eating these foods.
But no worries, because pretty soon, you’ll have one less thing on your plate to worry about.