Nightly News   |  November 07, 2013

‘No nutritional benefit’ from trans fats

The FDA wants to eliminate trans fats from the American diet, something doctors say is a big step in the right direction. The artificial fats are known to raise “bad” cholesterol known as LDL, while lowering the “good” cholesterol. NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to the big health story that broke earlier today. the fda announcing the federal government plans the s to phase out trans -fats from the foods we eat over the next few years. the point of trans -fats is to make food taste better. they can make good cholesterol go bad and bad cholesterol worse and they make for heart trouble in all of us.

>> reporter: it's dinner time in america. chances are something you are eating tonight contains artificial trans -fats. they are in most margarines, pizza, chips, baked goods and more. also known as par stially hydrogenated oil they are used to improve the texture, flavor and shelf life of many packaged foods. today the food and drug administration took the bold move of wanting to eliminate them prosecute the american diet.

>> everybody realizes artificial trans -fats represent a serious threat to health. they raise the risk of coronary artery disease . by working together, we can reduce artificial trans -fats further in the american diet.

>> reporter: doctors say this move is a big step in the right direction.

>> there is absolutely no nutritional benefit from trans -fats. they raise the low density lipoprotein count or the ldl which is bad cholesterol . they lower hdl which is the good cholesterol.

>> reporter: in 2006 , trans -fat content was added to labels to help consumers make wiser food choices. the following year, new york city became the first if in the nation to ban the ingredient in restaurants. other cities have since followed. even popular fast food restaurants have eliminated, replaced or reduced the use of artificial trans -fats in their products. today the grocery manufacturers association responded to the proposal saying we look forward to working with the fda to better understand their concerns and how our industry can better serve consumers. food industry experts say they expect p manufacturers to get creative to keep customers satisfied.

>> there is no question that their scientists are hard at work right now coming up with alternative formulations that will continue to maximize the allure of oh their product. they are not going to ship anything to the grocery store that isn't as irresistibly tasty as they can possibly make it.

>> reporter: the concern is the transition of eating trans -fats, changing cholesterol and the link to 20,000 heart attacks err year and 7,000 deaths. this isn't coming as a change soon. it will be months of conversation in public forums, brian, and probably years in the making.

>> to the last point americans eat what they eat and like what they like, some of them knowing to the detriment of their health. will we notice the change when we depart from the tasty foods?

>> our brains become wired for salt, fat and we like the texture and taste. are americans willing to go back to the farm? people argue that's where we should be. or the chemists in the back room being creative to introduce something new. that b will be the push for americans .

>> either that or i get into farming. dr. nancy snyderman , thank you as always.