You’ll never guess how many trans fats are in the very popular brand of microwave popcorn that’s probably sitting in your office kitchen. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Any day now, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to take action to finally phase out trans fats from the American food supply — they’re found in everything from frozen pizza to potato chips to french fries to Reese’s Pieces. This move should make your cardiologist’s job a lot easier.
The artificial fat — invented over 60 years ago to make deep-frying more convenient and baked goods more shelf-stable — has been linked repeatedly to heart disease. Its artery-clogging effects extend beyond your heart, however; reduced blood flow can impact everything from brain function to sexual function.
Related: 7 Foods That Hurt Your Sex Life
Municipalities like New York City and even retailers like Wal-Mart have taken action in an attempt to eliminate trans fats, but the artery-clogging ingredient — also called “partially hydrogenated oils” — still lurks in many popular foods.
While the American Heart Association long ago urged people to get no more than 2 grams of trans fat a day, many supermarket and restaurant foods still feature up to four times as much.
Here are some of the worst offenders:
8 grams: Carrabba’s Calamari with Spicy Italian Peppers and Lemon Butter (regular size)
8 grams: Steak N Shake Sausage Gravy and Biscuits
7 grams: A&W Large Breaded Onion Rings
5 grams: Pop Secret Buttered Popcorn
4.5 grams: Chillis Classic Ribeye
3 grams: Marie Callendar’s Lattice Apple Pie
2.5 grams: Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit
2 grams: Olive Garden Sicilian Cheesecake
Once the ban takes effect, food companies and restaurants will have a set amount of time to remove trans fats from their offerings — and these transition periods often last for a year or two.
In the meantime, make sure you check your food labels for trans fats, and avoid any of the foods above.
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