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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

New York City Bans Trans Fats

New York City Bans Trans Fats

Here's a follow-up to my last entry. New York City has banned trans fats in restaurants. There are some limitations to the law, such as food served directly from a manufacturer's package, but all in all, this will cause some sweeping changes in the restaurant industry. Will it improve health? That's debatable. Eating food fried in polyunsaturated soy or corn oil is only marginally healthier than eating food fried in trans fatty oils. Eating sugar is as bad or worse than eating trans fats. Both sugar and trans fats do serious damage to the arteries causing cholesterol to come to the rescue to try to repair the damage (for which cholesterol gets blamed no less). Both of these items should be minimized in, or better yet eliminated from, a healthy diet.

I'm still not sure that I'm for this given that once the government decides to regulate, they rarely decide to unregulate. What will they decide is bad for us next? Steak? Eggs? Beer?

Here's another link I stole from Dr. Michael Eades' blog: 10 Worst Trans Fat Offending Foods. The first picture is poutine, a Canadian specialty of french fries covered in gravy and cheese curds. It's hard to imagine that the "average" person only eats 5.8g of trans per day given the amount in those items. Now you know what to avoid. If you need something to replace margarine, try butter (yes, the real stuff isn't bad for you), coconut oil, palm oil, or olive oil.