Trans fats (including margarine and shortening) have been around for over 100 years. Their popularity soared in the late 1900s when it was discovered that they improved the taste, texture, and shelf life of many foods, including French fries, donuts, pizza, and coffee creamer. In the past several decades, however, scientific evidence has accumulated to show that trans fats are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. As a result, many food manufacturers have already taken steps to eliminate trans fats from their products. McDonald’s, for example, hasn’t cooked its French fries in trans fats in over 10 years.
According to the FDA, the average American consumer’s consumption of trans fats has already declined to less than a quarter of what it was just nine years ago. The recent FDA ruling is just the final nail in the trans fat coffin. Hopefully, trans fats will continue to be phased out, and consumption in the U.S. (and elsewhere) will continue to decline.
To learn more about some of the alternatives to trans fats in foods, click here.