More fat with that? Fast foods vary

fast-food

April 13, 2006

BY LINDA A. JOHNSON

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Order fries or hot wings at a McDonald’s or a KFC in the United States and you’re more likely to get a super-sized helping of artery-clogging trans fats than you would be at their restaurants in some other countries.

A study of the fast-food chains’ products around the world found remarkably wide variations in trans fat content from country to country, from city to city within the same nation, and from restaurant to restaurant in the same city.

The researchers said the differences had to do with the type of frying oil used, and the main culprit appeared to be partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, which is high in trans fats.

McDonald’s Corp., which promised in September 2002 to cut trans fat in half, and KFC parent Yum! Brands Inc. said the explanation is local taste preferences. But nutrition experts and consumer activists said it is about money: Frying oil high in trans fats costs less.

The Danish researchers tested products from the chains’ outlets in dozens of countries in 2004 and 2005, analyzing McDonald’s chicken nuggets, KFC hot wings, and the two chains’ french fries. The findings are reported in today’s New England Journal of Medicine.

At a New York City McDonald’s, a large fries-and-chicken-nuggets combo had 10.2 grams of the trans fat, compared with 0.33 grams in Denmark and about 3 grams in Spain, Russia and the Czech Republic.

At KFCs in Poland and Hungary , a large hot wings-and-fries order had 19 grams of trans fats or more, versus 5.5 grams for wings and fried potato wedges in New York . But in Germany , Russia , Denmark and Aberdeen , Scotland , the meal had less than a gram.

Harvard School of Public Health cardiologist Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian and colleagues wrote in the journal that although it may be hard for restaurants and food manufacturers to eliminate partially hydrogenated oil, other countries have replaced it with unsaturated fats without raising costs or reducing quality.

Doing so might prevent thousands of heart attacks and strokes each year in the United States , they wrote.

Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil: Trans Fats

Cooking oil that has been injected with hydrogen to harden it and give it a longer shelf life are called trans fats. Switching to liquid vegetable oils such as canola, corn, olive or soy eliminates the trans fat.

Trans fat raises bad cholesterol and lowers good cholesterol. Eating just 5 grams of it per day increases the risk of heart disease 25%, research shows.

~ Associated Press

About Bob McCauley

Bob McCauley, ND (Robert F., Jr.) was raised in Lansing, Michigan and attended Michigan State University (BA, 1980 in Journalism). He is a naturopathic doctor, Master Herbalist and a Certified Nutritional Consultant. He has traveled extensively, both domestically and abroad, visiting over 32 countries. He published Confessions of a Body Builder: Rejuvenating the Body with Spirulina, Chlorella, Raw Foods and Ionized Water (2000), Achieving Great Health (2005), The Miraculous Properties of Ionized Water, (2006) which is the only book on the market that exclusively addresses Ionized Water, Twelve (Fiction, 2007) and Honoring the Temple of God (2008). He considers himself a Naturalist, meaning he pursues health in the most natural way possible. He studies and promotes nature as the only way to true health. From 2002-2004 he hosted the radio program Achieving Great Health, which was heard by thousands of people each day. His guests included some of the most well-known and respected names in the natural health world. With the help of his father, Dr. Robert F. McCauley, Sr. (Doctorate in Environmental Engineering, MIT, 1953) they started Spartan Water Company in 1992, which sold vended water machines in supermarkets. Robert Jr. founded Spartan Enterprises, Inc. in 1993. He is a Certified Water Technician with the State of Michigan. He is also a Type II Public Water Supply Specialist and has the certifications of S-5 and D-5. The McCauley family has a long history in the water industry. Bob's father pioneered environmental issues regarding ground water and drinking water quality. He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1953 for his thesis on removing radioactive strontium from water. He earned his doctorate in Environmental Engineering in less than 2 years, one of the shortest doctoral studies in the history of MIT. He taught civil, sanitary and environmental engineering at Michigan State University for 18 years before retiring to run Wolverine Engineers & Surveyors of Mason, Michigan, for 17 years. His reputation throughout Michigan as a water quality expert was legendary. Bob worked for his father's company for 12 years learning the water business, which dealt primarily with municipalities, including water quality and sanitary sewer issues. After apprenticing with his father, Bob moved on to the bottled water business. He established greater Michigan's biggest selling bottled water: Michigan Mineral – Premium Natural Water. He was introduced to Ionized Water in 1995 and has done more to promote Ionized Water than anyone else in the industry. Bob often lectures and offers seminars on his Seven Component Natural Health Protocol . Bob is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and a Certified Master Herbalist. He is also a 3rd Degree Black Belt and Certified Instructor of Songahm Taekwondo (American Taekwondo Association).
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5 Responses to More fat with that? Fast foods vary

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    In areas which had access to coastal or tidal waters, ‘fast food’ would frequently include local shellfish or seafood, such as oysters or, as in London, eels. Often this seafood would be cooked directly on the quay or close by.;^

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