The evidence against trans fat is becoming so deep, and the health ramifications of its use so profound, that some have begun discussing an outright ban on what was just a few years ago touted as a healthful alternative to saturated fats.
Calorie for calorie, trans fats, those industrially created fats that come from partially hydrogenated oils, may be the most harmful substances in the American diet, researchers say.
In April, researchers writing in the New England Journal of Medicine came up with a startling statistic in their exhaustive review of dozens of trans fat studies published over more than a decade. Near elimination of artificially produced trans fats would avert between 72,000 and 228,000 heart attacks and deaths from coronary heart disease in the U.S. each year.
"The evidence for harm is considerable," said lead author Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "There really is little reason for having them in the food supply."