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Reduce Unhealthy Trans Fats

Armen Hareyan's picture

Baltimore and Trans Fats

At Phillips Seafood Restaurant in Baltimore's Inner Harbor representatives of two of Baltimore's leading restaurants are joining Health Commissioner Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein in urging a reduction in unhealthy trans fats.

Dr. Sharfstein is also writing every food establishment in the city with specific guidance on how to accomplish this important goal. Most trans fats are artificial fats that are created when manufacturers add hydrogen to vegetable oil. Trans fats both elevate LDL ("bad") cholesterol that causes heart disease and lower HDL ("good") cholesterol that works to clear arteries. Studies have indicated that trans fats are responsible for as many as 30,000 premature deaths in the United States each year.

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"By taking a few simple steps, food facilities can curb their use of unhealthy trans fats without compromising the taste or quality of the food," said Dr. Sharfstein. "This is an important step to improve nutrition and health in Baltimore."

Phillips Seafood Restaurant has recently switched to trans fat-free frying oils for its famous crab cakes and other menu items.

"The switch to trans fat-free frying oils will result in improved nutrition values for some of our most popular menu items such as Ocean City Crab Cakes, Golden Fried Shrimp, and Fried Seafood Platters," Phillips Seafood Chief Operating Officer, John Knorr stated.

Another popular Baltimore restaurant is also helping the Health Department get the word out. "For 15 years we have been using soybean oil for our hand cuts fries and fried fish. Soybean oil has no trans fats. For our homemade dill vinaigrette we are using a 10% olive and soybean blend, also no trans fats," said Denise Whiting, owner of Caf