16 June 2006

KFC's Trans-Fats

The latest yummy offering of KFC Philippines is a form of chicken barbecue that sells for 18 pesos a piece. I haven't tried it yet, but judging from the fastfood's long lines of customers, I think it is another KFC winner. I'll try to get you a picture later on, so you can see how it looks like.

[UPDATE: I got you a picture of the new KFC barbecues! For a more sinful and detailed close-up, go here.]

As any fastfood aficionado knows, KFC's secret lies in its thick, "finger-lickin," juicy gravy. Here in Manila, the gravy is placed on big thermo containers located strategically for easy reach of gravy-hungry KFC regulars. It is normal to see them getting the thermos, putting it as table centerpieces, and pouring the gravy in huge amounts directly to their fried chickens, to their rice, fries, mashed potatoes, and other KFC food items they ordered.

You can even say they can thrive on just the gravy. They can order just the gravy, and they can feel satisfied with it. That bad, huh? "Wrong," they'll tell you. "It's that good!" It's already an addiction. I should know. I have good friends who can testify to this. *LOL*

So I won't be surprised if no one here knows, no one here is interested in the recent news that in the US, KFC has just been sued by a consumer group because it has been cooking fried chicken for years in "partially hydrogenated oil containing trans fatty acids." The consumer group has humorously termed KFC as the "Kentucky Fried Coronary," obviously in reference to the dreadful potential it might contribute to heart attack episodes.

KFC USA calls the charge "frivolous." It couldn't be more frivolous here....I say, that kind of news isn't even news to Filipinos. As long as it is delicious, it must be good.

Also, there is no legitimate consumer group here which exists to protect and fight for consumer rights for better health or well-being. As they say around here, "masarap kumain ang Pilipino." Period. I'm sorry to foreign readers if I can't quite capture the exact meaning of that phrase in English, but it roughly says that Filipinos love to eat. Their eyes and tongues cannot discern the difference between good fat and bad fat. The argument is always --- is it delicious or not?

Has anyone inspected the kind of cooking oil fastfoods use here? Probably. As a part of a routine health and sanitary inspection required for all eating establishments, but I haven't heard of a local drive to have it analyzed or changed to a healthier alternative. In medical conferences I attend to, doctors talk about how certain fats harm the body over time, but no local medical organization has really taken a substantial step for effective prevention, like say, asking the local fastfoods to disclose important nutritional info about their products, and what can be done about them should they be qualified to contain harmful ingredients.

If there's a will, there's a way. To date, Denmark is a country that has banned trans-fats. Wendy's has trimmed its trans fat content weeks ago, too. In Europe, Canada (significant efforts!), and the US, as we can see, they are making noise about it. Here, most people don't care unless they have been hospitalized already. Here, it's a fragmented effort to be healthy. People wait to have a brush with death before they reform their lifestyles. Why does it have to be that way?

But for the few who care about their health, trans-fats are fats that you don't want in your diet. It is responsible for those "love-handles" and the big belly you have been trying to get rid of, for a long time. In fact, a new study says that if you want a bigger belly, eat more trans fats.

If you want a detailed discussion on trans-fats, click here.
RELATED POST: McDonald's French Fries

14 reactions:

tin-tin said...

as they say here in the philippines, mas masarap ang bawal. and the dirtier, the more delicious. dirty ice cream, etc. etc.

Roanne said...

sorry about that isulong thing. i'm off probation, but it doesn't hurt to merely join the contest. but, i'm shifting my priority for now. :P

about KFC, well, my coworker just called me "KFC girl" coz i always barge in there for my lunch...as in almost everyday. i agree that chicken barbeque is a winner, aside from it's being dirt cheap. :)

so far, amidst eating and hogging those those animal fats and extra calories, i haven't gained any weight recently.

geez, i'm so stressed out with my very first work xp. :(

Dr. Emer said...

Masarap ang bawal. How true, Tin-Tin...until they have a heart attack. Younger and younger patients are now suffering from heart and stroke attacks. If we know what's wrong, why can't we prevent it?

It's ok, Roanne. As I've said, friend naman kita. I know why you haven't gained weight even if you feast on KFC chix: you're somehow able to burn the unwanted calories. No one will become fat if they can burn the unwanted calories.

bayibhyap said...

The last time I ate KFC chicken was probably 3 or 4 years ago. I don't quite fancy fast food. But yesterday I attended an office function and they serve KFC chicken for lunch! :(

bayibhyap said...

But the danger of trans fat is not found only in KFC chicken. It's found in more products than we think and we will be shocked if we know which food products. We are likely to be consuming them everyday, like peanut butter, margarine, MARS bars, shortening in biscuits, etc. I used to have a list. I am try to find it.

ipanema said...

Whenever food is a topic and my audience are young teenagers, fastfood is the best. You name it, they love all of it. Since they're young and healthy, it doesn't matter what they gobble. Weight gain is not yet an issue at this age, except for a few young ladies.

News about suing KFC for me is a but late, why only now and why only them? You sue one but the presence of other establishment selling unhealthy food abound.

Personally, I'm very fussy with the kind of oil I use in cooking. It's either corn oil, sunflower oil or canola oil (don't know if they're safe). Cost wise, I can still afford it here, closing my eyes and dreading not to convert it to Phil. Peso (i think ive mastered it now), otherwise I can't buy it. I'm not sure about prices in Manila.

I think, we Filipinos seldom raise our voice on issues like this. We take everything head-on without even asking. Going on with our daily lives, for some, barely living through minimum wage, make us too complacent at whatever is in front of us. It's as if we're too tied making a living that we forget important issues that need to be addressed.

ipanema said...

some words dont make sense, sorry:

2nd para: ..KFC for me is a BIT late...

4th para:...if we're too TIRED making...

BAYI: I consider that as sinful food. :)

bayibhyap said...


of course, they are sinful food but most food items with transfat look and taste delicious.

and i don't bother correcting my typos anymore, as long as the readers will understand what i say. :)

ipanema said...

:) it's a battle of wills bayi. If you can control it, better. The more you are denied of the food, the more you crave for it.It's addictive.

If I have the time, I correct, just a habit of mine, goes with the job. :)

Roanne said...

i agree that chicken barbeque is a winner, aside from it's being dirt cheap. :)

haha, just to outscore correcting typos here, it should be written as "its".

anyways, mabait naman si doc emer. so i might be turning off the volume a little for my being OC. ;)

off topic, jollibee just launched its crispy hot chicken, which appeared to be "hot" in the tv ad (just take a look at aga's gesticulation). i tried ordering one yesterday, but it didn't seem to actually get the "hot" factor.

oh well, i think we should be cutting off some exaggerations [ergo on tv ads]...it's kind of misleading. :P

bayibhyap said...

The following types of food contains trans fat:

Skippy's Creamy Peanut Butter
Famous Amos Cookies
Arnoott's Tim Tam
Kraft Oreo
Quaker Oh's
McVite's Marie Finger Biscuits
Julie's Love Letters
Carnation Coffeemate
Nestle's Coffeemate
Ritx Crackers
Post Great Grains
Farley's Rusks
Nestle Cookie Crisp
Daisy Margarine
Planta Margarine
Pilsbury Chocolate Chunk
Buttercup Luxury Spread
Nestle Lactogen1 Infant Formula
Indo Creamer

The list goes on and on.

Transfats are created when food manufacturers partially hydrogenate vegetable oils to create processed foods. Food manufacturers call them hydrogenated fats (this is the term to look for in food labels to avoid consuming transfats), vegetable shortening, hardened fats, etc., all of which are most likely to contain transfats. In some cases, food manufacturers simply label hydrogenated fats as vegetable fat or oil. This is possible because of the inadequacy of our laws on food labeling or the enforcement of such laws. :(

ipanema said...

I can identify with 3 from that list alone, Bayi.

Dr. Emer, very tempting photo, really rich gravy.

Well, I think Starbucks will be joining KFC.

, there goes another fave. :)

kat said...

bwahhah...america is the land of lawsuits. just look at that lawsuit not too long ago suing mcdonald's for making their kids fat.

KFC rocks!! i am a big fan and i keep eating it despite the fact that my chest tightens after i do, and knowing full-well that it is bad for you (but it tastes so good!)

those who sue b/c of the trans-fat issue just cannot accept the fact. and there is a big "NO TRANS-FAT" movement going on over here despite the fact that there's tons of food products that contain it and have contained it for years (e.g., oreos, twinkies, etc.) it's as if people just started reading labels for the first time in their lives!!

ooh...sorry for the long comment! but i wish we had that KFC chicken BBQ over here!

Dr. Emer said...

I wish there were more healthier choices... with fastfoods, I mean.