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The Fall of Trans Fats

Today’s weight loss tip: Ditch the trans fats.

Yes, you’ve heard about how trans fats are the scourge of our food industry and likely you’ve even heard that New York City banned cooking oils with trans fat from all restaurants last year, but did you know that now the nation’s top cooking schools are getting on the anti-trans fat bandwagon?

Yesterday’s Associated Press article (1/27/08) announced that Johnson & Wales University, one of the nations largest cooking schools with several campuses around the country, will begin to train future chefs in non-trans fat cooking. It’s about time.

What are trans fats? They are forcibly created when hydrogen is added to liquid cooking oils to harden them. They hang out in your arteries and contribute to heard disease. Restaurants and packaged good makers love them because they increase shelf life and are cheap ingredients.

The great thing about deciding to avoid trans fats is that you’ll automatically knock out a lot of unhealthy and fattening foods without even trying. Twinkies, for example. And other snack cakes, many crackers and some chips. You’ll have to read the labels to know for sure, but this has recently become easier as relatively new regulations require foods to list the trans fat (also called “partially hydrogenated” or “hydrogenated” oils) on the label.

Reading labels is a good habit to get into anyway.

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