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AMA Supports Ban of Artificial Trans Fats in Restaurants and Bakeries Nationwide
Date:11/10/2008

ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an effort to help Americans maintain good health and lower the risk of the nation's number one killer, heart disease, the American Medical Association (AMA) today adopted policy that supports legislation to ban the use of artificial trans fats in restaurants and bakeries nationwide.

"Trans fats have been proven to raise LDL, the bad cholesterol, while lowering HDL, the good cholesterol, which significantly increases the risk for heart disease," said Mary Anne McCaffree, M.D., AMA board member. "By supporting a ban on the use of artificial trans fats in restaurants and bakeries, we can help improve the quality of the food Americans eat and may ultimately save lives."

Major cities like Chicago and New York have already placed a ban on the use of trans fats in restaurants and bakeries. California signed a law banning trans fats earlier this year. Previous AMA policy on trans fats urged a reduction in its use and encouraged replacing trans fats with healthier fats and oils.

"Not all fats are the same," said Dr. McCaffree. "By replacing artificial trans fats with healthier alternatives, like extra virgin olive oil, we could prevent approximately 30,000 to 100,000 premature deaths each year."

Trans fats comes from adding hydrogen to vegetable oil through a process called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation gives foods a longer shelf life. Commercial baked goods, like crackers, cookies and cakes, along with many fried foods, like french fries and doughnuts contain trans fats.

"Eating healthy and getting regular exercise are two of the best things you can do in your daily life to achieve and maintain good health. Packaged foods that contain trans fats must say so on the label, so read the nutritional labels at the grocery store and choose your foods carefully," said Dr. McCaffree.


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SOURCE American Medical Association
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