Long John Silver’s, Makers Of America’s Unhealthiest Restaurant Meal, Is Cutting Out Trans Fats

The restaurant takes action after a lobbying group called its fish-and-onion rings meal the worst in the U.S.

Update: Long John Silver’s is actually eliminating all trans fats from its menu by 2014. I originally said the restaurant is only removing trans fats from its non-batter-dipped dishes because I misread the original press release. While transitioning to using all trans fats-free oils, Long John Silver’s restaurants will use trans fat-free oils only for non-batter-dipped dishes. But by the time the changeover is finished, everything will be trans fats-free. I apologize for the error. My thanks to Scottie Ellis of RunSwitch PR for the correction.

The fastfood chain Long John Silver’s plans to eliminate trans fats from all of its dishes by the end of the year.

This news comes after the lobbying group Center for Science in the Public Interest named a Long John Silver’s platter as the unhealthiest restaurant meal in America because of its trans fat content.

Trans fats are a specific type of fat that doctors consider especially harmful to health. They raises people’s levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol while lowering their levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, so they’re associated with a higher risk for heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. In the American diet, trans fats come almost exclusively from partially hydrogenated oils, which are oils that have undergone an industrial process that makes them stay fresh longer. (Meat and milk products also contain a little bit of trans fat, but not nearly as much as, say, packaged muffins.)

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends people avoid trans fats as much as possible.

Some jurisdictions, such as California and New York City, have banned trans fats altogether. All the dishes in Long John Silver’s restaurants in those places are already trans fat-free.