Good News for Fast Food Addicts

Washington, Jul 15 (IANS): Here's some good news for fast food addicts. Five major US food chains, including McDonald's and Burger King, have cut down on trans fats in their food.

Trans fats can elevate the risk of heart disease by increasing "bad" cholesterol and decreasing "good" cholesterol levels.

The latest findings from University of Minnesota School of Public Health suggest that major fast food chains may have been responsive to public health concerns.

Researchers relied on the School of Public Health proprietary database, comprising nutritional values of more than 18,000 foods, to look at levels of trans fat and saturated fat in french fries from chains like McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Jack in the Box and Dairy Queen.

They found that three of the restaurants - McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's - significantly decreased the trans and saturated fatty acid composition of French fries between 1997 and 2008, says a university release.

"While it took time for major fast food chains to decrease trans fats in their foods, I'm pleased to see that they have done it," said Lisa Harnack, associate professor of epidemiology at the school, who led the research.

"I'm also pleased to see that they haven't raised levels of saturated fats to replace trans fats," Harnack added.

The findings were presented at the National Nutrient Database Conference in Grand Forks, North Dakota.


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