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FDA Takes Steps Toward Eliminating Trans Fats From Food Supply

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

FREELAND-WEB-HEADSHOT-2013 Lynne Hayes-Freeland
Lynne Hayes-Freeland is a general assignment reporter known for live,...
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CBS Pittsburgh (con't)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Lisa Ferguson puts the finishing touches on a fruited bread pudding at her fabled Table Catering Shop on the North Side. The bread pudding doesn’t have any trans fats, and there are very few in the icing.

On Thursday, the FDA took a big step toward eliminating most trans-fat from our food supply across the board.

“They’re going to set the guidelines that restaurants, and caterers and manufactures are going to have to adhere to,” says Ferguson.

The FDA says it plans to take trans fats, or hydrogenated oils, out of our foods all together because of the health hazards, plain and simple.

“If people have to make the dietary change at first, they might be a little hesitant, but it far outweighs hazards that the trans fats cause – heart disease, diabetes, the list goes on and on,” Ferguson says.

You may already think you do a good job because you read the label and the label says zero trans-fat, but this is a case where the devil is in the details.

Because, yes, it does say zero trans fats, but look closer, there are hydrogenated oils, and those are also trans fats. But the new regulations would change that, too.

“Those three big items,” said Ferguson. “If you see shortening, hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil, it’s got trans-fat; it just doesn’t have to be listed because it’s such a small amount.”

But in the long run, will you really notice the difference?

“I typically allow myself one unhealthy meal a week,” said local resident Kevin Farley. “If it has trans-fats in it, that’s fine. If it doesn’t that’s fine, too.”

“I think it might start people to eating other things that aren’t pre-packaged and don’t have a huge trans-fat issue,” added Brianna Mazur, another local resident.

“I don’t know if it will taste as good, but it will charge us to find things that are more natural,” said Tru Verret-Fleming, a local resident.

Well, we’ll find out. The FDA will accept input into the proposed elimination before setting a timetable for the new guidelines to take effect.

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