Trans fat free menu almost here
Published Wednesday, February 13, 2008 5:23PM PST
Many restaurants have already eliminated dangerous trans fats from their menus well before 2010, the B.C. government's new deadline.
Rob Feenie, Vancouver's celebrity chef who now works at the Cactus Club chain of restaurants, said it's just part of doing business.
"We don't use margarine, we use extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, butter," he said. "For the most part we're virtually trans fat free."
On Tuesday, B.C.'s speech from the throne announced that the provincial government intended to ban trans fats from schools and restaurants by 2010.
That would make B.C. the only province in Canada with such a ban. Calgary was the first city to ban trans fats last month.
A trans fat is a regular fat that has undergone a process called hydrogenation. That means that it undergoes chemical change that gives it a longer shelf life, or in the case of a food like crackers, gives it a crispier texture.
The problem is that the body treats hydrogenated trans fats like a saturated fat -- the kind of fat that clogs arteries and causes heart disease.
"It's very high risk for cardiovascular diseases such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure," said Ali Chernoff, a registered dietician and nutrition consultant.
But she says a ban on trans fats could mean that restaurants will replace the trans fats with saturated fats -- something just as bad.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Dag Sharman
Restaurants who told CTV they don't use trans fats:
- The Cannery
- Aqua Riva
- Salmon House
- Joe Forte's
- Monk McQueen's
- Cloud 9
- The Lift
Restaurants who told CTV they do use trans fats:
- Burger King
- White Spot -- but their menu was 90 per cent trans fat free
- La Terazza -- but only some dishes have trans fats
Compiled by CTV British Columbia's Toban Allison and Clifford Shim