(NBC) -- The Food and Drug Administration is taking steps to remove artificial trans fats - the artery-clogging ingredient found in crackers, cookies, pizza and many other baked goods, the government agency said Thursday.
Trans fats are considered harmful because they increase risk for heart disease by rising bad cholesterol levels and lower good cholesterol at the same time. New York City banned trans fats from restaurants in 2007. In 2006, the FDA began requiring food manufacturers to include trans fats on nutritional labels.
The FDA has previously estimated that the average American eats 4.7 pound of trans fats a year.
The FDA says trans fat intake among American consumers decreased from 4.6 grams per day in 2003 to about a gram a day in 2012. Many processed foods still contain trans fats. Five groups will feel the impact from the ban the most:
Breads: cookies, crackers, cakes, and pizza dough
Margarine: some stick margarine and vegetable oil
Mixes: store-bought mixes for cakes, muffins, cookies, and breads
Fried foods: donuts, taco shells, french fries, and chicken nuggets