McDonald's fries 'fattier than thought'
McDONALD'S, the world's largest restaurant chain, admitted last night its french fries contain a third more "trans" fats, which are linked to heart disease, than it had thought.
It said a new testing method it began using in December showed the level of potentially artery-clogging trans fat in a portion of large fries is eight grams, up from six, with total fat increasing to 30 grams from 25.
Trans fats, often used by restaurants and in packaged foods, are thought to cause cholesterol problems and increase the risk of heart disease.
The disclosure comes as McDonald's starts using packaging in the US with facts on nutritional content - a move made voluntarily but with the fast- food industry under pressure from consumer groups and ministers to give information.
McDonald's said it updated the nutrition information on its website as soon as it discovered the new level of trans fat. It explained the rise by saying an improvement in the testing process has made results more accurate.
"As part of our ongoing voluntary efforts to provide our customers with the best science-based information, we continually enhance our testing," said Cathy Kapica, global nutrition director for McDonald's.
Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Centre for Science in the Public Interest, said the increase was "quite dramatic".
"Nutritionally it's a disastrous product," he said of the fries.
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