At last, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a ban on trans fats, announcing that trans fats are unsafe for human consumption: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that a further reduction of trans fat in the food supply can prevent an additional 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year and up to 20,000 heart attacks each year,” said the FDA on their website. And thank God for that!

For many years, research and studies have shown that those man-made fats are hazardous to our health. Factories have been using trans fats for years in so many of the products that we buy on a daily basis for two main reasons: they are cheaper and they increase the shelf life of their products. Here is a list of some products that are made with trans fats, products to avoid:

Crackers, cookies, cakes, frozen pies and other baked goods
Snack foods (such as microwave popcorn)
Potato chips
Peanut butter
Frozen pizza
Vegetable shortenings and stick margarines
Coffee creamers
Refrigerated dough products (such as biscuits and cinnamon rolls)
Ready-to-use frostings

When it comes to fats in general, there are the good fats, good fat (unsaturated fats) that lower LDL, your bad cholesterol and increases HDL, your good cholesterol. Then there are the bad, saturated fats, that decrease your good cholesterol. And lastly, there’s the ugly, which is trans fat – it increases total fats, increases your bad cholesterol, and decreases your good cholesterol.

Trans fats and hydrogenated fats may also interfere with the ability of the cells of the body to metabolize the fats that are good for you. They can weaken cell membranes, keeping out needed nutrients and also allowing harmful ones to leak in. This sets the body up for chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and inflammation. That’s exactly why those fake man-made fats (trans fats) have been called “the silent killer”.

Always read the labels – if a product has the word “hydrogenated oil” in the ingredient list, try to find an alternative product to replace it with. This is a small change that can add healthy years to your life and your family’s lives.

The bottom line is this: Try to wean yourself off of any products that contain trans fats. If you don’t eat foods that contain trans fats or hydrogenated oils on a daily basis or if your diet doesn’t revolve around them, you need not to worry so much. When you don’t overwhelm your body with trans fats, it can deal with them as energy sources before they have a chance to do any cellular damage. Do not overwhelm your body with highly processed foods that may do more harm than just gaining a few kilos. Make sure that your diet is based on real, whole, unprocessed ingredients. You know something is really bad when it is banned by the FDA, so its your job now to ban it from your pantry as well.