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Montefiore Pulls All Trans Fatty Acids From Patient Visitor Menus

New York City, NY (December 7, 2006) -- Diet and nutrition experts at Montefiore Medical Center have now eliminated all trans fatty acids from foods in more than 2.5 million patient and visitor meals prepared and served at the region’ s second largest academic medical center.         

“Fifty thousand New Yorkers are hospitalized each year with heart attacks, and heart disease is the leading cause of death in our city,” said Steven Safyer, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Montefiore Medical Center. “This action will help us all avoid foods that contribute to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other preventable diseases now epidemic in our society and, make it easier  for all of us to make informed choices and to avoid dangerous trans fat,” Dr. Safyer said.

“We began to phase out trans fatty acids in the foods we prepare about two months ago, and are now working to provide alternatives to outside products such as cookies and other baked goods, replacing them with items that are consistent with good health and nutrition standards,” said Chris Trivlis, director, Food and Nutrition Services at Montefiore.  “It’s the right thing to do for the health of the people we take care of, their families, and our employees,” he said.

Montefiore serves about 1.3 million patient meals at its two hospital campuses and makes another estimated 1.3 million food service transactions to employees and hospital visitors.
“There is a direct, proven relationship between diets high in trans fat content and high levels of LDL, considered the “bad” cholesterol, which results in an increased risk of coronary heart disease,” said Miriam Pappo, RD, clinical Nutrition Manager at Montefiore.  “While trans fatty acids are found in many of the foods we eat they are not essential to any healthy diet,” Pappo said.

Trans fats typically are added for flavor, and are found in foods such as vegetable shortening, some margarines, crackers, candies, baked goods, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, salad dressings and many processed foods.

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