Partially hydrogenated oils are the primary dietary source of artificial trans fats often found in processed foods, including baked goods, stick margarine, and snack foods (http://1.usa.gov/1JbQfaH). Trans fats increase blood levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which in turn may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Rebecca Voelker, MSJ
“The FDA’s action on this major source of artificial trans fat demonstrates the agency’s commitment to the heart health of all Americans,” Stephen Ostroff, MD, the agency’s acting commissioner, said in a statement (http://1.usa.gov/1JVhrcq). “This action is expected to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year.”
Manufacturers have been required to include their products’ trans fat content on food labels since 2006. The FDA estimated that US public consumption of trans fats decreased by 78% between 2003 and 2012, due in large part to the labeling rule and manufacturers’ subsequent product reformulations.
Within the 3-year compliance period, manufacturers will have to eliminate partially hydrogenated oils from processed foods or petition the FDA to permit certain uses. The agency did not specify uses that may be permitted but noted that many companies already are at work to remove partially hydrogenated oils.