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Days May Be Numbered For Trans Fats

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Dana Kozlov Dana Kozlov
Dana Kozlov is a general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago. She...
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(CBS) – Put down that margarine and step away from your frozen pizza.

The FDA wants to ban an ingredient in some of your favorite foods, such as microwave popcorn.

Some brands of microwave popcorn can have as much as 5 grams of artery-clogging trans fats, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. A slice of cream pie has 4 grams of trans fats.

CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports on what this might mean to the taste — and healthiness — of what you eat.

Cookie dough. Corn bread. Crackers. They are yummy snacks to some. But look at the label. They have trans fats — something the FDA wants to get rid of for good.

It’s about time, according to Dr. Clyde Yancy, chief of cardiology at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

“In your body, think of trans fats as plastics – it never goes away,” he says. “It accumulates and accumulates and accumulates.”

That can lead to heart and vascular disease — a reason the FDA wants them gone. It’s estimated that 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths could be prevented each year.

Many companies have taken giant steps in the last decade or so to remove trans fats from food products. Ten fast-food chains have also cut them out entirely.

But that’s not enough for the FDA.

But not all shoppers are sweet on the idea of an outright ban.

Conagra, which makes frozen pies, says the company looks forward to learning more about the FDA’s proposal. In the meantime, the manufacturer has proactively worked on improving the heart-healthfulness of its food.

There is a 60-day comment period before the FDA makes a decision.

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