Heart Beat: Fast-food trans fats aren't good at home, abroad

Heart Beat

Fast-food trans fats aren't good at home, abroad

Published: September, 2006

Now that food labels must list trans fat content, it's easier to spot these unhealthy fats, at least at the grocery store. The new labels are also spurring food companies to find healthier replacements for these mostly man-made fats. A similar push is happening much more slowly in restaurants, which aren't required to provide nutrition information.

A prime source of trans fat is partially hydrogenated oil, which many fast-food restaurants continue to use for deep frying. To see if this differed by country, three Danish doctors determined the trans fat content of French fries and chicken nuggets bought in 24 McDonald's and KFC restaurants on four continents. As shown above, a large fries-and-nuggets combination delivered 10 grams of trans fat in New York City but less than a gram in Denmark, which limits the use of trans fats. A similar serving of fries and chicken nuggets in a KFC in Hungary delivered a whopping 25 grams of trans fat.

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