by Eliza Barclay, The Salt at NPR Food (8/28/14)
Last we heard, the once ubiquitous trans fats had mostly disappeared from packaged cookies, muffins and french fries.
That's what we reported back in November 2013, when the Food and Drug Administration announced it was intending to ban partially hydrogenated vegetable oils from all food products. The proposed ban seemed prudent, since eating foods with trans fats has been linked to heart disease, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that an FDA ban could prevent an additional 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year and as many as 20,000 heart attacks in that period.
But the FDA has yet to issue a final rule requiring food companies to eliminate trans fats entirely. In the meantime, researchers decided to find out just how many products still contain them.
Turns out it's more than you might think. While many food companies have found affordable alternatives to partially hydrogenated oil, one in 10 packaged foods still contain it, according to researchers at the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.