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Trans Fat Ban Saved Lives in New York, Study Shows

Not long ago some New York counties banned trans fats, even though a national ban was set to being in 2018. The results of the early bans are in and, according to NBC News, it’s all good: Heart attacks and strokes fell by more than 6 percent in three years in the counties where the bans were placed. Trans fats are oils used in processed foods such as cookies, crackers and fast foods.

It’s refreshing that the demise of trans fats has begun even before the official ban takes effect. It also validates the decision made in 2016 by the FDA to ban partially hydrogenated oils (a primary source of trans fat). In making its decision, the FDA said this change may help prevent around 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 heart disease deaths each year — and now we know the FDA was on-track.

But that doesn’t mean everything is A-OK, as many restaurants have reverted to using 100 percent vegetable oils (such as peanut, corn and soy oil) for frying. Research shows these oils have the worrisome problem of degrading into even more toxic oxidation products when heated, so they're probably no better than partially hydrogenated oils. So, the issue of WHAT the industry replaces trans fats with is of major importance.

What’s even more important is knowing what kinds of fats are best for you — and not all fats are bad. Healthy fats include olives and olive oil, coconuts and coconut oil, raw nuts such as macadamia and pecans, avocados, grass fed meats, lard and tallow, butter from grass fed cows, ghee and eggs from organic, pastured hens. For cooking, use coconut oil, lard or tallow.
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