"TransFat" news and stories
...Well, almost. The corporation has officially switched all of its cooking oils to trans-fat free in its U.S. and Canadian restaurants, but many of the premade products - like pies and cookies - still contain the artery-clogging ingredient.
You probably remember hearing about this - or even thinking it had already happened- because Mickie D's announced the plan awhile ago. In fact, while they were drumming up press, Wendy's, KFC and Taco Bell all made the switch to trans fat-free cooking oil.
So, thanks, McD's. Now Americans and Canadians have another way to rationalize our insane consumption of fried foods.
After New York City officials announced a plan to ban trans fats from restaurants, there has been some debate among scientists as to whether the ban will have a beneficial effect on the population. Virtually all experts agree that trans fats are not good for you, but the question about how bad they are has not actually been answered. Trans fats seem to raise the bad levels of cholesterol and lowering the good, which can increase the risk of heart attack and other heart problems. The problem is that while they do increase the bad, the amount that the good is reduced by is not great, so some scientists don't think that the ban will "save lives," as some of the officials behind the ban suggest.
So, the answer seems to be that banning trans fat might be beneficial. And if they change isn't a radical one in terms of health - although it could be - it certainly won't be bad for people to replace trans fats with fats from other sources. Even saturated fat "is at least a natural constituent of our diets," and not a "chemical abomination," as trans fat is.
Even though there has been a lot of press about how trans-fats are bad for you, there are no official recommended limits as so how much you can eat. The FDA's guidelines are something along the lines of a warning that "the less consumed... the better" - but less than what? Is 2 grams that hazardous? 5 grams?
The American Heart Association just released guidelines proposing a specific limit for the amount of trans-fats that you should eat: less than 1% of the total calories consumed in a day. A single fat gram has 9 calories, so for a person on a 2000 calorie/day diet, this guide would suggest eating no more than 2 grams of trans fat per day. The recommendation was made after a panel of doctors and specialists reviewed more than 90 studies relating to the issue
Bearing this new standard in mind, it is important to note that the FDA says that a product with .5 or fewer grams of trans fats can still claim to have 0g per serving - so read the list of ingredients to find out if food is really trans-fat free. And extra half-gram per serving of trans-fat in a favorite treat can add up quickly.