The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Tuesday that it has determined that partially hydrogenated oils, the main contributor to trans fat in food, are not “generally recognized as safe.”
The government is giving companies three years to take the oils out of their food. The oils are found in a variety of food products, including most fried foods and food made with vegetable shortening.
Trans fats are considered the most dangerous type of fat in the modern diet, because they significantly raise bad cholesterol in the body, according to the Mayo Clinic.
FDA officials said in a press release that removing the oils from food could be a lifesaver for thousands.
“This action is expected to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year,” said Dr. Stephen Ostroff, the acting commissioner of the FDA.
Over the next three years, food manufacturers will either have to take the oils out of their food or petition for an exemption.
The FDA has been attempting to reduce the amount of trans fats in the American diet for years. Since 2006, companies have had to list the amount of trans fat on nutrition labels.
The FDA said their efforts have resulted in a decrease of almost 80% of trans fats in the American diet from 2003 to 2012.