The Nation's Health + [Nutrition]

Nutrition: Trans fats to be banned

Sometimes good may come from legislation.

The City of New York is contemplating a ban on trans-fat use by restaurants, bakeries, and other food establishments in preparation of their foods. (Trans-fats are also known as hydrogenated fats.)

At this point, I believe it's unclear, should this pass, what the response will be. If food preparers turn to butter, that's not much better. (Don't get fooled by the non-sensical argument of which is better, butter or margarine--they're both terrible.) Subtracting hydrogenated fats will no doubt cause major disruption of food preparation habits. It may even increase the cost of food slightly.

Healthcare

I believe that the true positive effect of this situation, however, will be the tremendously heightened awareness it will raise in the public, both in New York and elsewhere, on just how bad and pervasive trans-fats are. It may increase awareness that foods like donuts and pastries are not just about excessive quantities of sugars, but also trans-fat content.

If you're already a Track Your Plaque follower, you already know that the easiest way to dodge trans-fats in your diet is to minimize your use of processed foods--the cellophane-wrapped, pulverized, dried, just-add-water, microwavable and ready-to-eat foods that line supermarket shelves. Trans-fats are purely man-made. You won't find them--not a stitch--in green peppers, lettuce, olive oil, almonds. . .unprocessed foods. Watch for an in-depth report on trans-fats on the Track Your Plaque website in which we will detail the scientific evidence behind this movement, how to recognize when foods contain trans-fats, etc.