Health

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McDonald’s Puts Trans Fats on Endangered Species List

May 27, 2008 06:01 AM
by Cara McDonough
The fast-food chain aims to be trans fat-free by the end of the year, part of a nationwide trend toward more heart-healthy menus.

30-Second Summary

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McDonald’s has switched to cooking french fries in oils free of trans fats in all restaurants in the United States and Canada. Jim Skinner, Chief Executive of the restaurant chain, said that by the end of the year, McDonald’s pies and other baked goods will be trans fats-free, as well.

Trans fats can be found in vegetable shortenings, some margarines, crackers, cookies, snack foods, and other foods made with or fried in partially hydrogenated oils, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The consumption of trans fats increases the risk of coronary heart disease.

McDonald’s was one of the first chains to say it would stop using the fats in its cooking several years ago, but has been slow to make the change, according to Reuters. Wendy’s fast food restaurants switched to trans fat-free cooking in 2006, KFC and Taco Bell chains switched over last year, and Burger King has promised to switch to trans fat-free cooking by the end of 2008.

The switch to healthier cooking oils seems to be part of a nationwide movement as health officials attempt to hold restaurants accountable for providing accurate nutritional information and healthy choices to customers.

In recent years, New York City and Philadelphia became the first U.S. cities to ban restaurants from serving foods with trans fats, and earlier this month, New York City health officials began citing chain restaurants that did not comply with a new law requiring them to post calorie counts on their menus. Other cities are talking about adopting similar laws.

Headline Links: McDonald’s, now without the trans fats

Related Topics: Trans fat bans and calorie counts

Reference: Trans fats, nutrition guide

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