America 's No.1 Heart Hospital to Eliminate Trans Fats

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Cleveland Clinic announced it is eliminating trans fatty acids from its main campus and regional health system, becoming one of the first tertiary medical centers in the country to ban artificial trans fat from all inpatient and cafeteria menus.

Trans fats, which have been linked to cancer risk and increases in the development and death from heart disease, are produced through hydrogenation, a process that converts once healthy liquid oils to unhealthy solid fats such as shortening or stick margarine.

Cleveland Clinic's immediate goal is to remove artificial trans fat from inpatient menus, cafeterias and hospital-owned pharmacies throughout its health system by March 1. In addition, individual vendors, food suppliers and restaurants have been asked to eliminate artificial trans fat by July 1.

"As a world-renowned healthcare institution, we have a responsibility to provide our patients, employees and all visitors with an environment that incorporates the healthiest of practices, including healthful food preparation," said Delos M. "Toby" Cosgrove, CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic. "In moving to eliminate trans fat from our food services, we are taking the lead in an important health issue that is gaining national momentum, providing those we serve with a standard for healthy living and wellness."

Since becoming CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic in 2004, Dr. Cosgrove has championed health and wellness initiatives, calling for the adoption of innovative programs to integrate the best practices of traditional medicine with the latest advances in wellness, healthy living and disease prevention.

In eliminating trans fat from its campuses, Cleveland Clinic is adopting guidelines outlined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration which define zero trans fat as any food item containing .5 grams or less of trans fat per serving.

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Nationwide, a handful of cities and food giants, including several in the fast food industry, have sought to eliminate trans fat, recognizing their harmful effects. The City of Cleveland is among those considering banning artificial trans fat from public food establishments.

Research has shown that trans fat increases artery-clogging LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol and decrease the level of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) or good cholesterol. Long-term, this contributes to the accumulation of fatty deposits or plaque in artery walls, raising an individual's risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. Scientists have also linked diets high in trans fat to insulin resistance and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Examples of foods high in trans fat include packaged cookies and crackers, commercially prepared baking goods, fried snacks, some cereals, cereal bars and granola bars.

National dietary guidelines recommend minimizing the consumption of trans fat as part of a diet that limits the intake of fats high in saturated and/or trans fatty acids. Government Food Intake studies have shown that the average American receives approximately 2-3% of their daily calorie intake from trans fat, the equivalent of 5.8 grams per day.

Small amounts of naturally occurring trans fat can be found in some animal products, such as butter, milk products, cheese, beef and lamb. The trans fat added by food manufacturers and listed on the label as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and shortening are the fats that should be avoided. According to the FDA, "eliminating trans fat completely from the diet would require such extraordinary dietary changes that it could result in an inadequate intake of some nutrients and create health risks."

Cleveland Clinic recently published Cleveland Clinic Healthy Heart Lifestyle Guide and Cookbook, which contains recipes with zero trans fat preparation. Cleveland Clinic teamed with James Beard Award-winning cookbook authors Bonnie Sanders Polin and Frances Towner Giedt to create the complete and easy-to-follow plan for preventing heart disease. The book's foreward was authored by Steven E. Nissen, M.D., Chairman of the Cleveland Clinic's Department of Cardiovascular Medicine.

Cleveland Clinic, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is a not-for-profit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Cleveland Clinic was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation's best hospitals in its annual "America's Best Hospitals" survey. Approximately 1,500 full-time salaried physicians at Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Florida represent more than 100 medical specialties and subspecialties. In 2005, there were 2.9 million outpatient visits to Cleveland Clinic. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 80 countries. There were nearly 54,000 hospital admissions to Cleveland Clinic in 2005. For more information, visit www.clevelandclinic.org.

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