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July 31, 2008

New York City Bans Trans Fat

If you are operating a restaurant in New York City you have until next summer to get the trans fat out of your restaurant. Health officials say that this move is necessary because trans fat can cause coronary heart disease. With that in mind, health officials in the city think that it is necessary to ban trans fats in restaurants.

Unfortunately more and more people are relying on restaurants for their food. With dollar menus available in just about every fast food restaurant, it is cheaper to grab a burger, fires and soft drink than to got to the grocery store. However it is much unhealthier to do that. The trans fat that most restaurants use to prepare fried foods is known to clog arteries.

Why do restaurants use trans fat? Well, the answer to that is easy. They use it because it is cheaper than healthier options. However, now that countries around the world are demanding the restaurants become more health conscious, restaurants are being forced to get rid of trans fat. Some consumers are complaining that the food won’t taste the same but these complaints are made out of pure ignorance. If they knew exactly what these trans fats were doing to their insides they would not be fighting this battle.

New York City has been a leader in the United States when it comes to banning trans fat. First they phased out artificial trans fat in all New York City restaurants. The second initiative that they have put in place is requiring all restaurants to put the calorie content and on their menus and menu boards. This is a great idea to help keep people aware of the food that they are eating and why it is important to keep track of the calories they consume.

The American Heart Association recommends that you consume no more than 2 to 2.5 grams of trans fat a day. Many people end up eating about 12 grams of trans fat a day. This si a terrible statistic that explains why heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. Banning trans fat from restaurants should have been on the agenda long ago.

As a weight loss counselor I always encourage people to go online and look at menu items online. Many clients don’t do this. However, if the calories were listed on the menu, when I ask them how many calories are in what they ate, they will be able to tell me. That way they won’t think that they have made a somewhat healthy choice when they are dining out.

As a former restaurant employee, I know that replacing trans fat will take some work. However, I also know that this ban is one of the best things that could happen. Trans fat is an ingredient that causes health problems. In a country that is very fat, any ban like this is a positive thing. While I am sure that people will still eat at restaurants, I hope that they are more aware of what they are eating.

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