CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) - Get ready to pay more at the local donut shop or fast food restaurant that currently uses trans fat in there food.
If the Food and Drug Administration gets its way by banning trans fats in foods, businesses like Julie Darling Donuts could be forced to make an uncomfortable financial decision.
"Our prices would ultimately have to go up if they ban trans-fat because the supplies for our products would be more expensive," said JDD owner Kent Davis.
Trans fat is processed fat that is inexpensive to cook with. The cheaper cost is why it's found in many food establishments. But health experts say it's unhealthy.
"Ultimately, it's a unsaturated fat in terms of its appearance but the structure of it makes it act like a saturated fat in your blood stream," said Community Health service manager John Bilderback of the Hamilton County Health Department.
Trans fat has been linked to obesity, clogged arteries, heart attack and other health problems.
"You don't want to put something in our bodies that we can't digest properly. So you want to make that you're eating properly and taking care of you body and not hurting yourself," said licensed dietitian Amanda Kirkpatrick of Erlanger Hospital.
Many establishments like McDonald's have already stopped using trans fat but many are wondering why it has taken so long for the FDA to finally announce its intentions to ban trans fat.
"It's taken decades to really get an understanding of how it functions in the blood stream and ultimately what it's impact is on the health of the individual," said Bilderback.
But does this become ultimately become a case of government interference in small business versus public health?
"I see both sides of it, and I wouldn't have an opinion as to whether it's good or bad but economically I think it will be bad," said Davis.
The ban won't happen right away. The FDA will collect comments for two months before determining a phase-out timetable. Different foods may have different schedules, depending how easy it is to find substitutes.