Long John Silver’s Cans Trans Fats

Nutrition has claimed more ground in the war on trans fats, as fast food chain Long John Silver’s has agreed to discard the use of the ingredient. This move comes after many had been calling the seafood fare the “worst restaurant meal,” thanks to it’s high fat content.  As an online culinary arts student, it may interest you to know how trans fats are being eradicated from restaurant dining.

The devil himself
Trans fat (aka trans fatty acids) are created when hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oils, making them more solid. Restaurant chains buy this easy-to-use oil because food can be fried in it several times before the oil has to be changed. It’s cost effective and efficient. Furthermore, many people like the taste.

Unfortunately, taste isn’t everything. Trans fats increase your body’s bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels, thus increasing your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. While most trans fats are created via the industrial production method, they can occur naturally in meat and other animal products. However, research has not shown whether natural trans fats are as bad for health as processed varieties.

Trans fat and Long John Silver’s
According to National Public Radio, the Big Catch meal at Long John Silver’s – it includes fried fish, french fries and hush puppies – had 33 grams of trans fat, which is more than two weeks worth of the daily recommended intake as stated by the American Heart Association.

However, the fast food chain has made some changes to their menu and will no longer use trans fat. Long John Silver’s announced on Jan. 22, 2014, that it would only use 100 percent soy-bean oil from now on.

“We are very pleased to improve the health profile of our entire menu,” Mike Kern, Long John Silver’s chief executive officer, said in a news release.

The restaurant also offers baked fish options.

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