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FDA proposal could ban trans fats

Rochester, N.Y. - A food makeover could be coming to pantries and restaurants.

On Thursday, the Food and Drug Adminstration announced a proposal that would deem partially hydrogenated oils unsafe. Additives considered unsafe by the FDA cannot be sold. This move paves the way for a ban, or at the very least, strict limits on artificial trans fats in the diet.

Trans fats are found in many processed foods. For example, microwave pizza, coffee creamer, margarine, fried foods, bakery foods and shortening.

Doctors and researcher have linked trans fats to heart disease.

Trans fats, what they tend to do is that they basically they raise the bad type of cholesterol, said Dr. Robert Block, a cardiologist at URMC.

Bad cholesterol can cause heart attacks and strokes.

Cardiovascular diseases are the number on causes of death in the U.S., Dr. Block added. Heart attacks and strokes surpass all the cancers put together also globally.

Nick Bellone of Nicks Deli and Pizza in Chili says trans fats are hard to find in his restaurant.

Personally I have cooked as natural as possible, Bellone said. Being in the business for as long as we have and growing up with no trans fats, it was easy [to cook with natural ingredient.

Bellone says that instead of margarine or shortening products that contain trans fats, he mostly uses olive oil in his cooking.

But he understands why other restaurants and food manufacturers may want to use partially hydrogenated oils.

The cost is much less once they use trans fats so it's a big a cost factor, he explained.

The shelf life of foods trans fats tend to be longer. Bellone predicts that certain food prices will go up if the FDA does ban trans fats. However, Bellone thinks the price is worth it if American will be healthier.

For the next 60 days, the public can weigh in on the proposal. 

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Washington Times