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Trans fats article

Yesterday I went to a Public Health Commission meeting, where there was a presentation by NYC Health, the group that led the amendment to the NY City Health Code around the partial phase-out of trans fat in restaurants. There were lots of interesting things in the presentation, some of which I wanted to share with those of you who are interested. The following website answers some basic questions about what trans fat is – but in summary they’re man made/artificial fats put in foods by manufacturers because they hugely lengthen the shelf life of food. They also clog arteries, cause obesity, and intake greatly increases the risk of health disease which is a leading cause of death for Americans (eg around 40% of NY deaths). Trans fat is the type of fat that goes hard at room temperature. The website is also good because it gives you suggestions on how to reduce trans fat in you and your families diets.

There are some naturally occurring trans fats, but 80% of those in the American diet are artificial. The main food sources are cakes, cookies, crackers, pies, bread, margarine, chips and fried potatoes. It’s very feasible to replace trans fats in the diet without compromising taste, and therefore to essentially remove most trans fats in restaurant foods. This is important given that there has been a huge increase in eating food prepared outside the home, about one third of the average Americans calories now come from food prepared outside the home – which is a huge increase in the past 20 years or so. The other thing to keep in mind is that while trans fats aren’t necessary and won’t be missed (some restaurants already don’t use them), whats important is that there’s no way for consumers in restaurants to know the transfat content of what they’re ordering – as trans fats are invisible and its not possible to tell from the taste of food either its impossible for consumers to know the trans fat content of food.

Check out the website though – it’s a short easy to read article, but at the same time answers most of the questions I initially had about trans fats.

I hope you find this useful.


Wed. Dec 20, 4:07pm

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