Snacks affected by trans fat ban

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

Microwaveable popcorn may have trans fats in it, so watch out!

Trans fats are useful for adding flavor to foods and extending their shelf life, but they have been linked to heart disease and early death. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration took steps to ban trans fats from the country, and here are some favorite snack foods that might be affected by the move.

Microwaveable popcorn is fast, easy, and tasty, but according to a recent study published in Preventing Chronic Disease, it’s filled with trans fat. As of 2011, this home movie treat had an average of about 4 grams of trans fat per serving. However, according to the Centers for Science in the Public Interest, some microwaveable bags have as much as 5 grams per serving!

The center’s executive director, Michael Jacobson, said, “Not only is artificial trans fat not safe, it’s not remotely necessary.”

The Preventing Chronic Disease study also found that margarine – a butter-like spread used for baking and cooking – contains an average of 2 grams of trans fat per serving. Cookies and crackers have their fair share as well. According to dietitian Katherine Tallmadge, companies like to use the artificial fats in order to keep snacks crisp. Well, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cookies contain about 3.5 grams of trans fat.

If trans fats are removed from food in America, the CDC estimates anywhere between 10,000-20,000 heart attacks could be prevented. Additionally, between 3,000-7,000 deaths from heart disease could be avoided per year.

Featured image courtesy of Kimberly Vardeman on Wikimedia.