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Steamed NOT fried

This direction alone will cut fat and calories from your meal. Think steaming and grilling versus wok frying, pan sautéing and roasting--preparations that can be heavy on grease and oil (and it's rarely heart healthy olive oil). Avoiding the fry factor will also significantly reduce the amount of dangerous trans fats that permeate your temple.

For those who travel a little too much (perhaps to a different planet?), trans fats are the fat villains; the ones that clog arteries and create all sorts of bedlam in your body such as elevating bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. Trans fats have become public enemy number one in the fight against heart disease. As of January 1, 2006, the FDA requires all food makers to list trans fat content on each product's food label.

As a frame of reference consider that a medium order of fast food French fries contains a whopping 8 grams of trans fat; a donut has 5 (in fact one Dunkin Donut old fashioned is like noshing 8 strips of bacon) , and a typical candy bar has 3-so French fries are bad, really bad; something to ponder as you cruise the drive-thru. There is even a site devoted to the campaign to ban all partially hydrogenated oils (which create trans fats). While there is no official RDA for trans fat, most recommend not exceeding 2 grams per day. Fast food fries blow through that allowance.

But there is hope. Not only has Corporate America taken action to reduce or even eliminate trans fat from products (e.g., Kraft now makes a trans fat-free Oreo, and Whole foods will not sell products containing partially hydrogenated oils), but ConAgra Foods will be launching a trans fat-free fry.

The "My Fries" have been developed under the Lamb Weston brand and the roll-out is a stealth mission. The company won't say exactly when or where the fries will first show up, but it has hinted that the much anticipated potato sticks will likely debut at an "early adopter" such as a college campus or national restaurant chain.

The company claims that the new My Fries are better tasting than any previous version and have 25% less fat overall. Hoooray----I think.

Eating IS believing.

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