Trans Fat Free Quad Cities Restaurant Initiative

Frequently Asked Questions

What is trans fat?

There are two types of trans fat:

  1. Naturally occurring trans fats are found in trace amounts in meat and dairy products. This initiative hopes to ban industrial trans fat not natural trans fat.
  2. Industrial trans fats, or partially hydrogenated oils, are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. These fats are easy to use, inexpensive to produce, last a long time and give foods a desirable taste and texture.

Why did the FDA ban trans fat?
The Food and Drug Administration previously recommended that consumers limit their intake of trans fat. But now the agency has revoked trans fat's "generally recognized as safe" status, meaning its artificial use will eventually be prohibited in the American food industry. Both Genesis and the FDA agree that there are no health benefits to consuming trans fat.

Why is trans fat so bad for you?
Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels.  Gram for gram, this is the most harmful fat.  Eliminating industrial trans fat from your diet will reduce heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other health problems.

Why do I want low LDL cholesterol levels and high HDL cholesterol levels?
Too much LDL (bad) cholesterol may lead to a build-up of plaque in the arteries, causing narrowing of the arteries. If a clot forms and blocks a narrowed artery, the result may be a heart attack or stroke. HDL (good) cholesterol protects against heart attack. Low levels of HDL increase the risk of heart disease. 

How many different fats are there?
Four major dietary fats are found in our food: saturated fats, trans fats, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. The bad fats (saturated and trans fats) are solid at room temperature, while  the good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) are generally a liquid at room temperature. All fats have nine calories per gram and should be consumed in moderation as part of a healthy diet.

What foods contain industrial trans fat?

  • Pre-fried foods, such as doughnuts, French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, fish fillets, chips and taco shells. 
  • Baked goods, such as hamburger buns, pizza dough, crackers, cookies, cakes, pies and pastries. 
  • Vegetable oils used for frying, baking and cooking, stick margarines and shortening.
    Other foods may contain trans fat. The amount of trans fat, or partially hydrogenated oil, in a processed food item may be determined by reading the Nutrition Facts label and Ingredients list.

How do I know if a product has trans fat?
Trans fat is listed on the nutrition fact label of food products. If the trans fat content is less than 0.5 grams per serving, the product is deemed to be free of trans fat.

Are healthy alternatives available?
Trans fat oil may be replaced by healthier alternatives, such as monounsaturated oils (canola, olive and sunflower oils) or polyunsaturated oils (corn, soybean and  safflower). Substituting for a healthier oil should have no impact on the price of the menu item due to the longer fry-life. A few items, like pie crusts, may require the use of saturated fat (lard, palm oil, coconut oil) however, experts still believe saturated fat is a healthier choice when compared to trans fats.

Why should I switch?
Because eventually, it may be required. As a restaurant owner, you will be asked to use alternative oils and foods that are trans fat free. The state of California, major cities including New York and Philadelphia, and many snack food manufacturers and fast-food restaurants have already taken action to eliminate trans fats to improve the health of the consumer. By joining the Genesis Trans Fat Free Quad Cities Restaurant Initiative, you can show your support of a healthy community and take a step to reduce heart disease, stroke, obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.

How do I get decal(s) for the door(s) of my restaurant(s)?
Complete the pledge sheet and either mail or fax it to us. You will find all the necessary contact information at the bottom of the pledge sheet.

Additional questions?  Call 563-421-9275

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