Trans Fat Free and 'Finger-Licking Good'

ByABC News
October 30, 2006, 6:11 AM

Oct. 30, 2006 — -- KFC Corp. will announce today that it will replace the trans fat-laden hydrogenated oils it uses to cook everything from chicken to potato wedges with a healthier soybean oil by April 2007.

KFC was recently sued for its high levels of trans fats.

Now it is poised to become one of the first fast food chains to eliminate them.

Gregg Dedrick, KFC's president, says it wasn't easy to find a trans fat-free oil that was still "finger-licking good."

When asked why he didn't introduce trans fat-free oils sooner, Dedrick said reaching the goal of better fat and delicious food was a time-consuming process.

"Well, we've been working on it," he said. "Over two years of research and development and testing went into making this product to make sure we didn't compromise the taste and to make sure we had enough supply."

Trans fats are so bad for cholesterol levels that the American Heart Association recommends eating less than 2 grams per day.

Until now, there was more than double that -- 4.5 grams -- in just one KFC extra crispy chicken breast.

"KFC is bold here in their move," said nutritionist Heidi Skolnick. "And it won't be long before other fast food chains make the change, too."

Wendy's has already eliminated trans fats. McDonalds promised to years ago, but has not followed through.

If restaurants are reluctant to make the change, some cities may force them to do so.

New York is considering banning trans fats in restaurants.

KFC officials revealed to ABC News that they'd been secretly using their trans fat-free oil in several cities for months.

Most diners didn't notice the difference.

So while the food may not be lower in fat, at least it's a better fat.