Mixed reaction to proposed trans fats ban - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Mixed reaction to proposed trans fats ban

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Trans fats are common in doughnuts and other fried foods. (FOX5) Trans fats are common in doughnuts and other fried foods. (FOX5)

It's largely been phased out, but the Food and Drug Administration is out to gradually wipe trans fats out of our diets completely.

The FDA has linked trans fats to health threats and claims eliminating them could lead to 20,000 fewer heart attacks in the U.S. each year.

While some in the food industry are for the change, others are strongly against it.

The FDA has yet to set a timeline for trans fats to be eliminated, but different foods may be subject to different timelines, depending on the ease with which trans fats may be substituted in them.

"We cook our doughnuts in non-trans fat oil," Real Donuts owner Bryan Solares said.

Solares said that wasn't always the case. He said that after making doughnuts with and without trans fats, he knew the one without was the way to go.

"The zero trans fat doesn't seem to suck as much oil into the doughnut, and it cooks perfect," he said.

Solares said he is in favor of the FDA's ban on the artery-clogging oil, and it wasn't just higher quality doughnuts that prompted the switch.

"Whatever is healthier for the community, I'm all for it," he said.

UNLV School of Nursing associate professor Patricia Alpert said many companies have already phased out trans fats, prompted by nutrition labels introduced by the FDA in 2006. She said the fats contribute significantly to the heart problems plaguing millions of Americans.

"It is in a lot of processed foods, frozen pizza. It's in all of your friend foods like doughnuts and french fries," she said. "It increases your bad cholesterol levels and lowers your good cholesterol."

Alpert said that it would take about 10 years for America to see a real benefit from a ban on trans fats.

One person staunchly against the ban is Heart Attack Grill owner Jon Basso, better known as Dr. Jon.

"This is nothing new. This is a continued encroachment upon the rights of the people who don't want governmental organizations to tell us what to do, what to think or what to eat," he said.

Basso said his high-calorie burgers are cooked with pure lard rather than trans fats, but that has no bearing on his stance.

"We are free people and we can eat however intelligently or however ignorantly we choose," he said.

When trans fats are off the list of produces recognized as safe, anyone who wants to use them would have to petition the FDA.

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