Guess NYC is getting tired of seeing its citizens lining up in the emergency room because they eat crap for food. Suspect the rest of the country should get on the bandwagon.
New York City’s Health Department on Tuesday proposed a near ban on the use of artificial trans fat at restaurants, likening its health danger to that of lead paint. The proposal would limit the use of the artery-clogging fat, which is often used in fast foods, to 0.5 grams per serving. The proposal comes after a year-long city campaign to educate restaurants on the effects of such fats and encourage them to stop their use.
It doesn’t take a genius to cut back on this stuff – just read the labels when you shop and if you don’t see trans fats listed, look for “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredients list. If you see that, then pass on to a healthier item. Muffins, crackers, cookies, cakes, pies, etc. usually have them, but some people are trying to eliminate them now, so read the label.
If you live in the NYC area, the online grocer FreshDirect has no transfats in any of its foods, so check them out.
The FDA requires products manufactured after January 1, 2006, to list trans fat content directly beneath the “saturated fat” entry on the Nutrition Facts Panel. This listing includes both artificial and naturally occurring trans fat. Under the new guidelines, a product can claim to have zero grams of trans fat as long as it contains 0.49 grams of trans fat (or less) per serving. Thus, several servings of a given product might actually add up to a significant amount of trans fat.
The best way to avoid dietary trans fat is to read both the Nutrition Facts Panel and the ingredient statement and to avoid those products that contain hydrogenated oil.
trans fat – An unsaturated fatty acid produced by the partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils and present in hardened vegetable oils, most margarines, commercial baked foods, and many fried foods. An excess of these fats in the diet is thought to raise the cholesterol level in the bloodstream.