Why the FDA Banned Trans Fat

1 minute read

Over the next three years, food manufacturers must remove the primary source of artificial trans fat–partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs)–from their products.

Trans fat can be found in an estimated 37% of grocery-store foods, such as frozen pizza and microwave popcorn.

It is typically used to add texture and give foods an extended shelf life.

But research shows it can lead to heart problems and even Type 2 diabetes.

It may also be unnecessary: companies have started exploring healthier fat alternatives, like vegetable oil and butter, and the FDA’s three-year deadline gives them ample time to experiment.

–Alexandra Sifferlin

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com