Do You Want Trans Fat In The Restaurants You Eat At?
Trans fat is in restaurants all over. There is a debate as to whether restaurants are to take them out. This is a helpful article in understanding this debate. This debate is well discussed by CBN. For full article, you can go to CBN.
CBN.com – Across the nation, “ban trans fat!” has become a battle cry. So far, the state of California and several cities, including New York City and Philadelphia, are prohibiting or phasing out trans fat in restaurants. Food manufacturers and fast food chains have swapped out trans fat or continue testing to find alternatives to hydrogenated oils.
With trans fats being purged from the food supply, a new question arises: What is being used instead and is it better for you? Since many foods still contain a bit of trans fat, let’s review its background first. Then we’ll discuss trans fat alternatives.
Trans Fat Fundamentals
Most people don’t realize that there are two kinds of trans fats. A natural form of trans fat is found in tiny amounts in red meat and dairy products, but it is not harmful to humans. In fact, a study done on rats suggests it may even be good for us. This is not the trans fat everyone is talking about.
The bad trans fat is a synthetic form created by an industrial process called hydrogenation. Hydrogen is added to vegetable oil, which changes the shape of the fat molecules, causing the oil to become more solid. Make no mistake about it – this trans fat is an unnatural substance that is dangerous to health. Is it any surprise that when we tamper with God’s perfect design, things go haywire?
Why are trans fats bad?
Research shows that trans fats increase the bad LDL cholesterol and decrease the good HDL cholesterol, which raises risk of heart disease and stroke. A recent study suggests trans fats harm the cardiovascular system by triggering inflammation in blood vessels. In addition, trans fat may increase risk for cancers of the breast and prostate.
With trans fat, zero doesn’t always mean zero
Since 2006 FDA regulations require trans fat to be listed on labels. However, seeing “0 grams trans fat” on the nutrition panel does not guarantee the food is trans fat-free. Labeling laws allow foods with up to ~1/2 gram trans fat per serving to say “trans fat 0 grams.”
So here’s what you need to do. If the food says “0 grams trans fat” on the nutrition panel, check the ingredients list. If you see the word “hydrogenated” anywhere on that list, there is some trans fat in the food, up to 1/2 gram per serving. Munching multiple servings of foods that contain 1/4 gram or 1/2 gram trans fat per serving can add up to harmful levels.
How much do Americans eat?
In 2005 the FDA estimated trans fat intake to be about 5.8 grams per day (about 2.6 percent of calories) for Americans age twenty and older.  Since manufacturers have removed trans fat from many products, that number is probably lower today.
One thing we’ve learned is that it only takes a tiny amount of trans fat to adversely affect health. In a study of 120,000 female nurses, researchers found that replacing 2 percent of their calories with trans fat doubled their risk of heart disease! But thankfully the study authors say it works the other way, too: replacing 2 percent of calories from trans fat with healthful unsaturated fats cuts your risk for heart disease in half. 
How much trans fat is okay?
The American Heart Association recommends limiting total trans fat intake to less than 1 percent of our total daily calories, which means less than 2 grams per day for many people. Since most of us get that much from naturally occurring trans fat in red meat and dairy, we need to cut trans fat from other foods to zero. That means checking every ingredient list and bypassing foods that declare any hydrogenated oils or partially hydrogenated oils, even if it states “trans fat 0 g” on the nutrition panel.
If trans fat goes, what comes in?
Food manufacturers have scrambled to find alternative fats that will impart the same characteristics and flavors to foods that trans fats did. Products from cookies to breaded fish were reformulated to decrease or omit hydrogenated oils. Many fast food chains have even switched to trans fat-free vegetable oils in their frying vats.
For A Few TRANS FAT ALTERNATIVES See full article