Banning Trans Fats

By Nick DeMarco
Staff Writer

A few years ago, doctors and nutritionists were up in arms over carbs; South Beach and Atkins diets reigned supreme, and it was decided by those who live a healthy lifestyle that carbs were the enemy. While that wasn’t a bad decision, perhaps now we have reached a point where that is now on the backburner, in favor of the new “monster” trans fats.

So what makes Trans fats so dangerous? More importantly, what kind of fat is it? Well I spent a lot of time on the website BanTransFats.com, a website for the organization that started this “war” that has seen the banning of trans fats in such cities as New York City, Boston, and even California has banned it statewide. On this website, it states that Trans fats are “worse than saturated fat” and are created in food products to prolong shelf life. The problem with this is that Trans fats lower the good cholesterol in your body, and increase the bad cholesterol, not to mention clogging arteries, causing or contributing to type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.

The beginning of this fight against Trans fats began with Kraft being sued to remove the trans fats in Oreos. Not only were they removed from Oreos, but Kraft removed them from 650 other products. This was followed by McDonald’s being hit with a lawsuit over the fact that they mis- lead their customers into thinking they were using lower trans fat oils in their foods. McDonald’s was forced to post notices about the fact that there was really no change. They also contributed 7 million dollars in American Heart Association programs.

Most notably is Project Tiburon, a California town that be- came the first “trans fat free city in America”. This project led to cities like New York City and Philadelphia copying the idea, as well as the eventual ban of Trans fats statewide in California. This organization is constantly working behind the scenes to help restaurants and food companies eliminate Trans fats from their products.

So how does this journalist feel about the ban? Well, I am not a health food junkie, I try to keep myself in decent shape, but that doesn’t stop me from eating late night Tastycakes. I do, however, eat lots of fruits and vegetables. I see around town places like Krispy Kreme and KFC cooking with low trans fats oils, or completely eliminating it from their products. I can’t lie, reading up what I did on this stuff, it makes me feel better knowing I’m not clogging up my arteries or mak- ing myself prone to diabetes.

Another thing that’s good is the fact this organization isn’t going haywire with this campaign. They state in their website: “It is only the trans fat created by the partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils that we are concerned about and that should be eliminated completely from your diet. We at BanTransFats.com are not concerned with the kind of naturally occurring trans fat found in small amounts in pomegranates, cab- bage, peas, or the type found in the meat and milk of cows, sheep and goats.”

To me, I think this is a good change in how we live, and how we eat. I believe its practical, without going crazy about it, and it helps you everyday. Bravo Ban- TransFats.com, bravo indeed.