Trans Fat and Fast Food

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What is trans fat?
Trans fat is made when manufacturers add hydrogen to vegetable oil – a process called hydrogenation.

Why is trans fat bad?
Trans fat raises LDL cholesterol, which increases your risk for coronary heart disease. It has also been shown to lower HDL, which helps remove LDL from arteries.

Where is trans fat found?
Trans fat can be found in vegetable shortenings and foods made with them. These include some margarines, crackers, cookies, snack foods, and many fried foods such as French fries and fried chicken. A small amount of trans fat is found naturally, primarily in dairy products, some meat and other animal-based foods.

Trans fat is online.
Now you can really see how fried fast food is bad for your heart. The trans fat information is now given for foods at both McDonald’s and Burger King.

Here is the amount of trans fat found in popular items: Burger King: Medium French fries – 4.5 g 8 chicken tenders – 3.5 g Medium onion rings – 3.5 g Tender Crisp garden salad – 3.5 g McDonald’s: Medium French fries – 4 g Dbl Qtr Pounder w/ cheese – 3 g 10 pc McNuggets – 2.5 g Calif Cobb salad with Crispy Chicken Sandwich – 1.5 g Filet-O-Fish Sandwich – 1 g Wendy’s: Medium French fries – 5 g Biggie French fries – 6 g 5 piece chicken nugget – 1.5 g

What should I order?
It is best to go online and research menu items and choose before you go. Best bets include low-fat salads, plain baked potatoes, small plain hamburgers and grilled chicken sandwiches with lettuce and tomato. Skip the fried foods and fatty sandwiches. Keep in mind that while these products are low in saturated fat and trans fat, they are usually very high in sodium. It is always best to cook at home!

FMI
Visit many fast food companies online. Here are the ones we found that have trans fat information as of publication date (02/05): www.mcdonalds.com www.bk.com www.wendys.com

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