FDA to Consider Eliminating Trans Fat from Foods

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SCRANTON-- Foods that fill the aisle in your grocery store may be getting a makeover in the near future.

This week the Food and Drug Administration announced it wants to eliminate most trans fat from food, particularly ones with hydrogenated oils.

The FDA believes getting rid of the fat will make food healthier for millions of Americans.

"I think that's fabulous because people are not aware of how bad they are for your body," Donna Meyers of Scranton said.

Trans fat can be found in shortening, stick margarine and even the not so healthy food that some people like to indulge in.

Donuts, muffins and fast food are just some of the snacks the fat gets cooked into.

"By eliminating trans fat in the American diet we can save people... about 20,000 people from having heart attacks each year," Elizabeth McDonald, clinical dietitianĀ of Geisinger Community Medical Center said.

Elizabeth McDonald, a clinical dietitian at Geisinger Community Medical Center said if you choose to eat foods with trans fat it should be less than one gram.

Anything greater could put you at risk for clogged arteries, which can lead to a heart attack.

"The coronary heart disease, it's a big risk for it so I am really happy about that because I know a couple of people who have had heart attacks before, and cutting that out of your diet is definitely going to keep you alive," Coleen Weaver of Scranton said.

Over the years a lot of companies have eliminated trans fat from frozen meals.

Health officials said it's still important to double-check the labels on boxes before you buy what you think is a cheap, fast and healthy meal.

"Sometimes you're working one job. Sometimes you're working 2-3 jobs so it's quick. A lot of people don't have the luxury of preparing home-made meals for dinner like we did years ago," McDonald said.

The elimination of trans fat would not happen anytime soon. The FDA will collect comments for the next couple of months before possibly phasing it out.