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5 foods that would be affected by the FDA's trans fats ban
Step away from the frozen pizza
Farewell, sweet friend.
Farewell, sweet friend. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
T

rans fats are about to go the way of the dodo and DDT.

The Food and Drug Administration announced on Thursday that it's planning to declare that partially hydrogenated oils, the source of trans fats, are not "generally recognized as safe," effectively banishing them from American diets.

If the FDA passes its new standards, companies won't be able to use partially hydrogenated oils in their food products unless they can prove it poses no risk to public health — a standard that won't be easy to meet, considering that the FDA attributes 20,000 heart attacks every year to trans fats.

So what does this mean for you? Here, are five trans-fat-heavy foods that may run afoul of the FDA's proposed regulations.

Instant ramen


(CC BY: Ricardo Velasquez)

Sadly, instant ramen noodles are as unhealthy as they are cheap and delicious. Part of the reason they're so filling is because they are packed with trans fats, not to mention an unholy amount of sodium. Ever wonder how they make those bricks of noodles? Yes, by frying them in oil. Save yourself the heart attack and head to an authentic ramen restaurant instead.

Microwave popcorn


(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Some brands pack six grams of trans fat into every single bag of microwave popcorn. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns against eating even two or three grams a day. If you absolutely need to munch on popcorn during your Walking Dead binge-a-thon, pop your own or grab a bag that advertises itself as trans fat-free, like Newman's Own.

Fast food hash browns


(CC BY: Ricardo Velasquez)

Some fast food restaurants, like McDonald's, have voluntarily stopped using trans fats. Others have not. Order the hash browns at Popeye's and you will be consuming a whopping 10 grams of trans fat. A good rule of thumb for fast food in general: If it's fried, take a peek at the nutritional information.

Frozen pizza


(CC BY: Collin Anderson)

Too lazy to order a pizza? Beware the frozen ones sitting in your supermarket. They are often loaded with trans fats, which got two companies sued earlier this year by a California women who claimed they were "placing profits over public health."

Margarine


(CC BY: Roberto Verzo)

The reason a stick of margarine stays firm at room temperature is because it's often filled with two to three grams of trans fat. Tub margarine is slightly better for you, but to avoid trans fats altogether, you might want to switch back to regular butter.

Keith Wagstaff is a staff writer at TheWeek.com covering politics and current events. He has previously written for such publications as TIME, Details, VICE, and the Village Voice.

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