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Bay State Restaurants Still Using Artificial Trans Fat Despite Health Risks
Date:3/13/2008

web site. The trans fat could come from frying oil used in the restaurant, the par-frying oil used by the chains' suppliers, or both.

"With all the medical evidence we have about artificial trans fat and heart disease, and with supplies of natural trans-fat-free oils and shortenings in such abundance, there is truly no excuse for Burger King, Friendly's, and other chains to be using this dangerous substance," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. "One advantage it has is that it can be used over and over again in the deep-fryer without being changed as often. But considering that it clogs arteries and shortens lives, it's just not worth it."

Massachusetts voters seem to agree, according to a recent 7News/Suffolk University poll (http://www.cspinet.org/new/pdf/transsurvey.pdf). That poll found that two-thirds of Massachusetts voters are concerned about artificial trans fat and favor the bill to phase it out of the state's restaurants.

"The tide is definitely turning toward the use of healthier cooking oils, with many restaurants voluntarily making the switch to healthier alternatives," Koutoujian said. "Massachusetts residents understand that by forgoing the use of artificial trans fats, we can live healthier lives without negatively affecting the taste of any foods."

Artificial trans fat is more dangerous than any other fat in food because, like saturated fat, it raises one's LDL, the "bad" kind of cholesterol that promotes heart disease, but unlike saturated fat, it also lowers one's HDL, the "good" kind of cholesterol that guards against heart disease. For that reason, leading trans-fat researcher Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, calls trans fat a "metabolic poison." Federal rules now require trans fat to be listed on food labels, a move that has spurred most large makers of packag
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SOURCE Center for Science in the Public Interest
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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