CLEVELAND - The City of Cleveland is trying to help people get healthier in the new year. Starting Jan. 1, 2013, the Trans Fat Ban goes into effect in the city.
The ban will apply to all restaurants, grocery and bakery take-out items. Still not too many people know much about it, or even know what trans fats are.
So just what are trans fats?
Ask around the NewsChannel 5 newsroom and the answer you'll get is, "… something really gross?"
According to folks at the Mayo Clinic, trans fats are considered by doctors to be the worst type of fat. It is said to occur naturally in certain meats and dairy products, but most develop from a process called hydrogenation, which the Mayo Clinic said makes oil less likely to spoil.
Trans fats are used in ingredients and manufactured foods to give them a longer shelf life, the exact opposite of what Chef Anthony Hamilton of the Rocco Whalen Restaurant Group said, you should want.
"Generally speaking, if your food doesn't perish it's a bad thing. Like, your food should go bad eventually, you know," said Chef Hamilton.
Chef Hamilton is a Corporate Chef who sometimes works at Rocco Whalen's Fahrenheit Restaurant location in the Tremont section of Cleveland. There, they've already taken strides to provide healthier meals, inspired by Chef Whalen's appearance on the Food Network's show "Fat Chef."
With the ban looming, Chef Hamilton says the change is not something that's easy for restaurants to incorporate.
"With trans fats," said Chef Hamilton, "…they make things cheaper, more attainable, supply is up, demand is down, it makes it cheaper obviously, but us as chefs, we have to carry a social responsibility to avoid um, we find it very unhealthy, they promote heart disease."
Trans fats can raise your "LDL" or "bad" cholesterol and lower you "HDL" or "good" cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease according to Web MD. Folks there say trans fats will tantalize your taste buds, but turn into sludge once it hits your arteries.
So how do health-conscious eaters avoid trans fats when dining out?
"We pretty much look for salads," said Susan Rydzinski.
The trans fat ban in the City of Cleveland should provide more healthy options, not a bad idea said Chef Hamilton, " …being mindful of people's health is not a bad idea. If we want a return customer, you know, giving people heart disease is not exactly the best business model ever heard of!"
Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman was a large supporter of the Trans Fat Ban.
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