Trans Fats and Menus – What Can You Do?

New York City has decided to prohibit restaurants from using trans fats in their menu items. Other cities can be expected to follow suit, causing a major change in the way that restaurants use certain ingredients for cooking and frying. As of July 2007, most cooking oils with artificial trans fats no longer can be used in New York City restaurants. All ingredients with artificial trans fats must be eliminated by July 2008.

Trans fats form when oils are hydrogenated to make them solid at room temperature. Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil was commonly used for frying, in commercially baked foods like cookies, cakes, and crackers, and in mixes for muffins and other baked goods. What can you do?

  • Check the labels of all cooking oils for partially hydrogenated fats. Ask your distributor to suggest comparable trans fat-free oils.
  • Visit for independent evaluations of trans fat-free cooking oils.
  • Review the ingredient list and Nutrition Facts panel of all baked goods, mixes, and commercially prepared foods. Seek out alternatives.
  • Contact Mindy Hermann for a computerized nutrition analysis of your recipes, including trans fat and key nutrients.

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