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FDA Now Considering Nationwide Ban On Heart-Clogging Trans Fats

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For the first time, the FDA finally admits that trans fats in foods are unsafe. Now the agency is considering banning the heart-clogging substance from store shelves.

Gigi Barnett reports it’s a move many local restaurants agree with.

New York was the first city to ban trans fats from restaurants. Baltimore followed suit in 2009. Now the FDA may be heading down the same path.

Years after several major U.S. cities — including Baltimore — banned trans fats from restaurants, the Food and Drug Administration is joining the move against trans fats, calling them unsafe.

Now the agency is considering a nationwide ban on the artery-clogging oils.

“There’s absolutely no redeeming value to trans fats and there’s every reason in the world to get them off our shelves,” said Dr. Pamela Peeke, University of Maryland.

Trans fats are considered the worst kind of oil for your heart. They’re tasty in muffins and cookies and allow those products to last longer on store shelves. But researchers have linked the oils to a higher risk of heart attack and other diseases.

“They actually increase inflammation throughout the body, which we have seen as a precursor for many disease entities,” Peeke said.

The cooks at Jimmy’s Restaurant in Fells Point made the healthy switch five years ago — months before Baltimore banned trans fats in restaurants.

Owner Jimmy Filipidis says some of his customers asked for the move back then. He believes the FDA will make a swift move to get the ban in place.

“I have no doubt that it will be approved. People are too health conscious and these trans fats have been linked with a lot of serious issues,” Filipidis said.

The FDA ban is not a done deal just yet. Over the next 60 days, the agency will talk to food industry experts and health experts to get their take on this. A full nationwide ban could take a few years.

Researchers say at least 20,000 heart attacks can be prevented every year just by removing trans fats from processed foods.

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