More Trans Fat Alerts | The Family Fork

More Trans Fat Alerts

I told you this was becoming a trend. McDonald's and IHOP (International House of Pancakes) both made annoucements this week that they're working on the elimination of that nasty trans fat that keeps getting in their way of selling healthy food (cuz that's the only problem, right) to their customers.

It's good news but McDonald's has only promised to make these changes in Europe, not in the US. Bummer for us but good for our Western neighbors. McDonald's claims they will cut the trans fat in their European cooking oil to 2% which apparently equates to 0.5 grams per serving. Not sure what they consider a serving tho. Stay tuned.

I am very disappointed McDonald's hasn't committed to doing this for its US market. Especially since they promised to do so back in 2002!! Do you remember that? Well it's four years later and they essentially renegged on that promise. WHERE'S THE UPROAR?! Back in September they claimed they tried frying their French fries in trans fat free oil but the fries didn't turn out to be customer friendly. So what makes them think it will work in Europe? And Wendy's says they're using trans fat free oil and so does KFC. Why can't Mickey D's? They need to try a little harder.

I wonder what will happen with IHOP? They haven't made a commitment to change but will start testing trans fat free oil. According to the restaurant chain:
"IHOP is currently testing trans fat free fryer oils in select restaurants, and we expect to expand the testing within the year to additional restaurants.

Additionally, we are working with our suppliers to determine ways to reduce and/or eliminate trans fats from our menu items... We remain committed to ensuring that our guests receive the delicious taste they’ve come to expect from IHOP

Hmm... we'll see what happens. I hope something. But remember, even though trans fats are definitely the worst, the calories are the same from all fat. They all have 9 calories per gram so even if you're eating trans fat free fries, they're still fries.

(French fry photo courtesy of Trungson)

(Pancake photo courtesy of LostinTexas)
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About the Author

Registered dietitian Andrea N. Giancoli is a nutrition advocate, consultant and educator.