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Starbucks Cutting out the [Trans] Fat

By Laura Oppenheimer in Food on Jan 2, 2007 7:00PM

If your pumpkin cream cheese muffin has tasted a little less fatty in recent weeks, it's because it is — Starbucks has been replacing baked goods with trans fat with a trans-fat free version over the past month. 2007_1_sbucks.jpgBy this Wednesday, caffeinated snackers can chow down worry-free, as all baked goods in Chicago (and other urban) Starbucks will be replaced with their healthier counterparts. Half of the lunch options will also be trans-fat free. The changes will also occur in less-urban markets, though no time frame has been given by Starbucks for these switches.

Universal Studios, New York City, Culvers, Taco Bell, and numerous others have already banned trans fats. Trans fats are one of the few fats that have no health benefits. Though trans fat occurs naturally in some foods, today, most trans fats found in food is the kind created "by the processed food industry as a side-effect of partially hydrogenating unsaturated plant fats (generally vegetable oils)."

In addition to cutting out trans fats, Chicago Starbucks will also begin serving orchard fruit and nut bars from hometown favorite Eli's Cheesecake Co. Eli's Cheesecake products aside, we think this is a good move for Starbucks to take. The real problem, however, is eating the baked goods in the first place. The aforementioned pumpkin cream cheese muffin is listed on the Starbucks site as having 23 grams of fat. Even if this is pre-trans fat removal, this doesn't seem like a healthy way to start one's day. Not that Chicagoist is uber healthy or a nutritionist — we just know that eating a third of your daily fat intake in one muffin can't be good for you.

In the spirit of the new year, how are you planning on staying healthy in 2007?