After a decade of trans fats slowly disappearing from some American food, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will now require that trans fats be gradually phased out of all foods because trans fats threaten people’s health.
Trans fats are the “bad” fats that cause plaque build-up in the arteries and lead to heart disease. They are found in many processed foods, and in oils used for frying in restaurants.
While many companies have already removed trans fats after new nutrition labels were introduced in 2006, the FDA estimates that requiring trans fats not be used will decrease cases of heart disease by 7,000 annually and prevent 20,000 heart attacks per year.
The FDA plans to release a timeline for the phase-out in the near future.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently finalized the definition of the term “gluten-free” on food labels, which means all manufacturers that want to use that phrase on their products must adhere to strict guidelines.
As stated by the FDA, the term gluten-free now refers to foods that are either inherently gluten free or foods that do not contain any ingredient that is:
a gluten-containing grain (e.g., spelt wheat);
derived from a gluten-containing grain that has not been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat flour); or
derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat starch), if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten in the food.
Additionally, any unavoidable presence of gluten in the food must be less than 20 ppm.
The ruling benefits the more than three million Americans living with celiac disease that face serious health conditions if they eat food containing gluten.
The gluten-free ruling applies to all FDA-regulated foods and dietary supplements; it excludes foods whose labeling is regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Manufacturers have one year to make package labels compliant.
Learn more about the FDA’s gluten-free ruling.
Ever wonder how to measure a cup of fruits or vegetables? Use this guide to measure what you eat.
If you or someone you know struggles to feed their family, you may qualify for food assistance.
There are many different food assistance programs, and this publication explains each program and who is eligible.