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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Home arrow Blog arrow McDONALD'S NOT TRANS-FAT-FREE

5 years after announcing with great fanfare that they would reduce trans fats in their products McDonald's finally announced that more than 1,200 of its U.S. restaurants have switched to trans-fat-free frying oil. This is only about 10% of the 11,608 McDonald's franchises in the US. McDonald's has not said when (if?) they will switch the remainder of their restaurants over.

It's an oxymoron to equate eating healthfully with eating at a fast food restaurant. Now that that fantasy is laid to rest let's look at what is being eaten. The new oil being used is a blend of canola, soybean and corn oils. It's been formulated specifically for French fries. Any nutritionist worth the label will tell you that French fries are one of the worst foods to consume:

1. They contain trans fats. Among other problems trans fats raise your risk for heart disease. This is so incontrovertible that New York City has passed an ordnance banning trans fats at restaurants in the city.

2. High content of acrylamide. Acrylamide is formed when starchy foods are baked or fried at high temperatures and is considered a cancer causing chemical by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Potato chips, French fries, and donuts have the most acrylamide but it's also found in breakfast cereals, pastries and cookies, breads, rolls and toast, cocoa products and coffee.

3. Applying high heat to canola/soy/corn oils creates free radicals that cause disease.

Trans fats or not there's no way to make French fries healthy. Don't be swayed by the marketing hype. If you want to eat healthy don't eat these foods at all.

To explore the nature of fast food in depth read "Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal" by Eric Schlosser.


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