Finally, the Food and Drug Administration has given all food manufacturers a big fat mandate -- get rid of the trans fat in your products. The announcement last week comes nine years after New York City's first-in-the-nation move to ban the substance from restaurants.
The goal in 2006 was to reduce the 500 deaths each year from heart disease in the city that were attributed to trans fat intake. Results of the ban aren't yet known, but studies suggest that cutting trans fats should cut the risk of heart disease. The Mayo Clinic calls trans fats a "cholesterol double whammy." They raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower HDL (good) cholesterol. Officials say the new move will prevent 20,000 annual heart attacks nationwide. Many food makers already use substitutes for trans fats, so this is not a big nutritional sacrifice. Our bodies will thank us in the long run.