Oak Brook, Ill.-based fastfood giant McDonald's has introduced a new cooking oil in its 13,000 US restaurants, which will reduce the levels of trans fatty acids (TFAs) in its French fries by 48%, reduce saturated fat by 16% and dramatically increase polyunsaturated fat by 167%.

While the total fat content in the fries remains unchanged, health experts agree that reducing TFAs and saturates while increasing polyunsaturates is beneficial to heart health.

"It's a win-win for our customers because they are getting the same great French fry taste along with an even healthier nutrition profile," insisted Mike Roberts, president of McDonald's USA.

Global reduction goal

Jack M. Greenberg, chairman and CEO, added that McDonald's aims for a worldwide reduction of TFAs through enhanced cooking oils as available crop supplies, trade restrictions, country-by-country regulations and customer acceptance allow.

"McDonald's takes very seriously the fact that our local restaurants serve 46 million customers every day around the world," he said: "McDonald's will continue to be guided by sound science and leading nutrition experts to do the right thing as we work with our partners around the world to continue to reduce TFAs."