Kaylyn Boccia, Staff Writer
Those greasy fries and crunchy nuggets that come to mind when we think fast food, may no longer be as saturated in fats as we thought. Following the New York City’s trans fat ban in 2008, many fast food restaurants and chains have been adapting their recipes to eliminate trans fat. Trans fats are considered the “bad fats,” with such risks as an increase in heart disease, and cholesterol. In 2002, the National Academy of Sciences decided that the only safe amount of trans fats in one’s diet is zero.
“I think it is a good idea for trans fats to be removed from fast foods,” says Oneonta senior Rebecca Zander, “So many people use those restaurants for convenience, it seems only responsible to attempt to make the food as healthy as possible.”
The packaging on the typical comfort foods such as Lay’s Potato Chips, and french fries from McDonalds, now read “0 grams trans fats.” Fast food joints such as Dunkin Donuts, Boston Market, KFC and McDonalds, to name a few, have only begun adjusting their recipes since 2008. “I think it’s a positive idea on the restaurants’ part and could help, but personally, I choose not to eat fast food,” says Oneonta junior, Alysia Hladik, “And I still believe that even with this ban, this type of food remains unhealthy, and itcomes down to personal choice and discipline.” What forced big chain, “fatty” restaurants to begin the process of getting rid of trans fats in their food, was simply the truth. You may have noticed that eating fast foods isn’t as guilt free as it used to be, with the new nutrition labels. Included in these nutritional facts are the amounts of trans fat in each serving, showing just how dangerous these products are to consumers’ health. Heart disease happens to be the leading cause of death in our country and a large percent of those people have their diet to blame.
According to an article by Fox News, companies who do not comply with this ban of trans fat will be charged a heavy fine.
One argument against this ban is that trans fats in foods helps to preserve them. The reducing of trans fats would then require companies to replace or produce foods more often, costing them more money. This lack of extended preservation could also increase the risk of consumers ingesting spoiled foods. Oneonta alumni, and dietetics major, Adriana Burbridge says, “Why do our fries need to need to have such a long shelf life? They don’t. Eliminating trans fats will not only benefit the consumers’ health, it will also appeal to a whole new market of people trying to live a healthier lifestyle, but who still want a fast burger from time to time.”
We still have a long way to go in eating healthy as a country, but this is a step in the right direction, and for now, our hearts can start to beat a little easier.