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Perspective: Do Trans Fats Deserve Their Status as the Worst of the Worst?

Dec. 5, 2006 -- New York is the first city in the nation to ban trans fats from all restaurants.

The New York City Board of Health voted unanimously to rid the city's restaurants of trans fats. Trans fats must disappear from frying oils by July 2007 and from all foods by July 2008.

In 2005, all restaurants in Tiburon Calif. voluntarily stopped using trans fats in their cooking oil.

Once praised for making crunchy foods crunchier and creamy foods creamier, trans fats have now become the evil kid on the food block. That's why manufacturers are now so quick to point out when their foods are free of trans fats.

There's no doubt trans fats are bad for us. Every time we turn around there's another study showing just how harmful trans fats can be.

In the latest study, which WebMD reported on last month, researchers found that 2.6 grams a day (assuming the average 2,000-calorie-a-day diet) increased the risk of heart disease.

That's not much when you consider that a typical serving of french fries has about 5 grams of trans fats, a Danish has more than 3 grams, and even microwave popcorn has 1.1 grams.

Not so concerned about heart disease? How about that big belly? Read this WebMD news article for more information on how trans fats expand your waist.

Wondering what foods have the most trans fats? Check out this WebMD Feature on the top 10 trans fat foods.

We'll see if other cities follow in New York's footsteps. In the meantime, certain fast-food restaurants are jumping on the trans-fat-free bandwagon.

KFC announced that it will begin frying its chicken and other foods in oil free of trans fats, and Taco Bell is also set to ditch trans fats. Both changes are scheduled to take effect by April 2007.

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