Trans Fats Under Attack
Target’s Archer Farms brand has become the first national store brand to go trans fat-free. Several restaurants, schools, cities and towns have employed, or are considering, similar measures.
On January 11, 2008, Target announced that Archer Farms would eliminate foods with added trans fat from its line of more than 2,000 food products.
Target and Archer Farms join a list of stores, schools and even cities that have banned trans fat.
Tiburon, California became the first trans fat free city in the United States, and in 2007, New York City banned trans fats in restaurants.
Kentucky Fried Chicken announced in Oct. 2006 that it would start frying its poultry products in trans fat-free soybean oil.
So why are so many people racing to rid themselves of foods that contain these fats?
Although the Food and Drug Administration defines trans fat as “a specific type of fat formed when liquid oils are made into solid fats like shortening and hard margarine,” that does little to explain their loathsome status.
However, an October 2006 study by the Harvard Medical School found that trans fats actually make you fatter faster.
After examining data collected from 41,518 women, the study showed that each increase of one percent of calories from trans fats translates to a two-pound gain over eight years.
“In other words,” reports USA Today, “a woman who was consuming six percent of calories from trans fat would be 12 pounds heavier after eight years than a person eating no trans fat.”
Trans fats also act like saturated fats in that they raise LDL cholesterol—the “bad” cholesterol.
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