The Chicago Tribune claims that the cost of eating McDonalds is higher than once thought. John Schmeltzer reports:
Correcting a labeling error, the hamburger giant acknowledged Wednesday that the trans fat content in an order of its large fries is one-third higher than previously stated, containing 8 grams of the heart-endangering fat instead of the 6 grams listed on brochures and McDonald's Web site.Trans fatty acids are the result of food producers adding hydrogen molecules to unsaturated fats, thereby turning these oils into harder, more saturated fats. These hardened fats have extended shelf life and are commonly used to fry potatoes in fast food restaurants.
McDonalds' researchers are reportedly trying to find healthier alternatives that won't compromise taste. In his book Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman recommends avoiding the situation entirely:
In a press release in 1990, McDonald's announced, "McDonald's French fries to be cooked in cholesterol-free 100 percent vegetable oil." The switch was to partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening. Now all the fast food giants--McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Arby's, and Hardee's, as well as almost every brand of French fries in the freezer case of your supermarket--are just as bad for you heart as if they were fried in pig fat.
Trans fats do not exist in nature. They are laboratory-designed and have adverse health consequences. They interfere with the body's production of beneficial fatty acids and promote heart disease.1 As trans fatty acids offer no benefits and only clear adverse metabolic consequences, when you see the words partially hydrogenated on the side of the box, consider it poisonous and throw it in the trash.
1. Judd, J.T., B. A. Clevidence, R. A. Muesing, et al. 1994. Dietary trans fatty acids: effects on plasma lipids and lipoproteins of healthy men and women. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 59 (4): 861-68; Mensink, R. P., and M. B. Katan. 1990. Effects on dietary trans fatty acids on high-density and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in healthy subjects. N. Eng. J. Med. 323 (7): 439-45.