The FDA announced plans to officially phase out trans fats completely by 2018. Health experts are applauding the elimination of the vilified ingredients, which are blamed for everything from obesity to memory loss. But the bad press surrounding trans fats actually got many major companies like McDonald’s and General Mills to phase them out even before the ban. Their use is down 70 percent since 2005.
So what products left on store shelves will probably need to alter their recipes to appease regulators? Here are a few of the bigger ones.
Some see America’s switch from butter to margarine as a flashpoint for decades of misguided health advice. And despite growing concerns, trans fats continue to be a major ingredient in many of the butter alternatives. For instance, Land O'Lakes has 3 grams of trans fats per serving. Blue Bonnet and Fleischmann's are two other names that made the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s Trans Fat Wall of Shame.
Some microwaveable popcorn brands like Jolly Time and Pop Secret still use trans fats. And stovetop popcorn isn’t safe, either: Jiffy Pop Butter Popcorn has 3 grams per serving. Sure enough, the microwave popcorn I have in my cupboard contains trans fats, and I didn’t even know. Eep.
3. Frosting and Icing
Both Duncan Hines and Pillsbury have been called out for keeping trans fats in their frostings. Other brands, especially cheap ones, often contain the ingredient as well.
4. Frozen Cakes and Pies
If you like grabbing sweets out of your grocery’s freezer section, you’re going to hate this list: Products from Marie Callender’s, Pepperidge Farm and Sara Lee have all been called out as culprits.
Betty Crocker still has trans fats in its Bisquick Complete Buttermilk Biscuit Mix. The Center for Science in the Public Interest also called out Odom’s Tennessee Pride Sausage & Buttermilk Biscuits.
6. Generic Anything—Especially Snacks and Cookies
Though consumers have become more willing to buy generic in recent years, the truth is that many generic brands still find ways to produce their products cheaply. As NJ.com points out, trans fat is cheaper than its alternatives, so some low-end manufacturers have resisted the change. They won’t be able to hold out any longer.