Your snacks are about to get healthier — it’s the law

Snacking without guilt? Sign me up. The Obama administration is calling for all food companies to start phasing out artificial trans fats, which don’t really do much for us in the first place. While they are added to our foods to improve things like texture and shelf life, they significantly lower the levels of “good” cholesterol and increase the risk of coronary heart disease. So according to Obama, they’ve gotta go.

This news isn’t sudden. Between 2003 and 2012, consumption of trans fats decreased by 78 percent. Since then, the FDA has been working to gradually eliminate the leftovers. They started by removing trans fats from under the “generally recognized as safe” category, and now they’ve given companies three years to eliminate them from all products.

This doesn’t mean they’re gone for good. Additives that are “generally recognized as safe” can be added to foods without FDA review, but ingredients that don’t fall under that umbrella can still be petitioned by the companies. The Grocery Manufacturers Association, kind of the big kahuna when it comes to food production, plans to do just that. They want to see if there’s a “reasonable certainty of no harm” if the fat is used in specific ways, although it’s unclear what those ways are.

The bottom line is that trans fats are some of the worst fats for your heart, coming in even above saturated fats in things that increase your risk for heart disease. You can usually find it in things like frosting, popcorn and dough that’s used for pizzas and crusts.

These things aren’t going away, they’re just going to be better for you. As long as I can still heat a frozen pizza while I wait for the Orange is the New Black theme song to be over, I’m a happy camper.

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