Monica N. Padilla
May 28, 2008
New York City Bans Trans Fat
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, more than 12.5 million Americans have Coronary Heart Disease, and more than 500,000 die each year. That results to making CHD one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Scientific research reveals that consumption of foods containing trans fat increases bad (Low Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol and at the same time lowers good (High Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol - a combination which increases the risk of lethal heart diseases forcing New York City to ban trans ...view middle of the document...
Hydrogenated oil is the reason why crackers and cookies are crisp, cakes are kept moist, and foods have a good added flavor.
Trans fats pose health risks. They cause many health problems and they contribute to obesity. The body does need some fat, but trans fat is a bad fat that should be eliminated from the diet and replaced with good fats. The problem with trans fat is that it can clog the arteries, make them inflexible which lead to strokes and heart attacks. Trans fats are not easily broken down in the body. The molecular structure of trans fat is so different, so unnatural that the body has no way to know exactly how to process it. With all of these negative effects of trans fats to our body, it is just rightful that the Board of Health impose a trans fat ban on all restaurant foods and ensure that New Yorkers are eating healthier foods.
New York City being an economic and cultural trendsetter has set national standards with regards to the trans fat ban. It is the nationâ€™s first major municipal ban on the use of all but tiny amounts of artificial trans fats in restaurant cooking, which is referred to as â€œa move the would radically transform the way food is prepared in thousand of restaurants, from McDonaldâ€™s to fashionable bistros to Chinese take-outsâ€ (Lueck and Severson par 1). The health boardâ€™s decision has received widespread media coverage and spawned similar efforts in other cities, counties and states. The cityâ€™s prohibition on trans fats was considered a victory for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, an outspoken health advocate, and his activist
health commissioner, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden. After the cityâ€™s aggressive campaign to ban smoking in restaurants and in public places, the regulation governing trans fats has again thrust New York to the forefront of a significant public health issue.
The trans fat ban in effect includes two phases. The first phase is to eliminate oils, shortenings and margarines which contain more than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. The second phase requires restaurants, mostly fast food outlets to prominently display the caloric content of each menu item on menu boards or near cash register (Lueck & Severson par 4).
Which oils should be used now? The restaurants should use oils that have 0 grams of trans fat per serving. These include traditional vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, or canola oil, as well as new oils made from specific varieties of soybeans, sunflowers, and other grains and seeds with long frying lives. The health department is also encouraging restaurant owners and cooks to switch to polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oils.
Dennis Canciello, executive pastry chef of Ferrara CafÃ© in Manhattanâ€™s Little Italy, decided to substitute with palm oil â€“ a highly saturated fat and by no means healthy but he says he needs â€œa fat that is semisolid at room temperature to fry the crisp pastry tubes for his ricotta-filled cannoli and...