Trans fat—at least the artifical kind—will no longer be found in our favorite shelf-stable products from Twinkies to Thin Mints, thanks to a ruling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA has set a 2018 deadline for food companies to eliminate trans fat from their products. (They’re still OK in products like meat and cheese where they occur naturally.) The move comes after decades of research finding consuming trans fat is strongly linked to heart disease and obesity.
It turns out a lot of our favorite treats are laden with the stuff after food companies turned to partially hydrogenated oils as a cheaper alternative to butter and lard in the last 100 years. But many brands have managed to hide trans fat from their nutrition label thanks to a loophole that says products with fewer than 0.5 grams of the stuff per arbitrary serving don’t need to list it. You can outsmart these food companies by looking at the ingredient list. If there’s partially hydrogenated oil, then there’s trans fat.
And while the FDA ruling is a good thing for our health—it’s estimated to save $140 billion over 20 years in healthcare costs—the ban also means that these brands may never taste the same.
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Originally published November 2013. Updated June 2015.