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Fifty years ago, doctors discovered that saturated fats in meat, chicken, dairy products and tropical oils contain large amounts of saturated fats that increase your risk of suffering a heart attack, so many fast food restaurants substituted vegetable oils for these fats.

Vegetable oils are rich in polyunsaturated fats that help to prevent heart attacks, but they turn rancid rather quickly when they are removed from vegetables. Food manufacturers chemically convert the unstable polyunsaturated fats to the very stable partially hydrogenated fats and sell them to the fast food kings such as McDonald's and Burger King. Now, fast food purveyors use little lard, butter or oils containing primarily saturated fats and in their place, use partially hydrogenated cottonseed or soybean oils that make French fries taste crispy, but increase your risk for heart attacks and certain types of cancers.

When you buy fast food, you don't get as much saturated fats as you used to, but you get much more partially hydrogenated fats than ever before. You should keep saturated and partially hydrogenated fats (trans fats)in your daily diet as close to zero as possible.

*A large order of French Fries at McDonald's contains 19 grams of fat including 4 grams of saturated fats and 4 grams of partially hydrogenated fats. That exceeds the daily recommended limit for each of these unhealthful fats.

*Nine chicken nuggets at McDonald's contains 25 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat and 3 grams of trans fats.

*Burger King's fried chicken sandwich has 43 grams of fat, 9 grams saturated and 2 grams partially hydrogenated .

Checked 5/3/07

June 2nd, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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