The best thing about the Food and Drug Administration's plan to gradually ban trans fats in manufactured food is that most of us will never notice. The products -- made when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil, mostly to create a certain consistency or increase shelf life -- raise levels of "bad" cholesterol. The FDA says banning trans fats could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths a year. Manufacturers have already reduced trans fat use by 73 percent, mostly due to the groundbreaking push in 2006 by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to ban the use of trans fats in restaurants. Any knee-jerk response that this is more "nanny state" control doesn't work; nobody seems to have missed trans fats as they've been phased out. If the FDA can rid our food of a dangerous product we'll never miss, then bravo.
A box with a variety of doughnuts from Doughnut Plant sit in the front window of the shop on New York's Lower East Side. Doughnut Plant owner Mark Isreal has been making trans-fat-free, all-natural doughnuts for a dozen years. (Jan. 12, 2007) Photo Credit: AP