Crystal Trims Trans Fats

January 25, 2007
The race to ban trans fats is on. Crystal Cruises has removed trans fats from its menus; the ban is already in place in all restaurants onboard both ships in the fleet, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony.

But wait! Though Crystal is the first in the industry to fully eliminate the unhealthy fats, Royal Caribbean actually announced its plan to fight fat earlier this month. That line will begin eliminating trans fat oils on March 1; its goal is to be trans-fat-free by the end of 2007.

What are trans fats? According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, "trans fat is made when manufacturers add hydrogen to vegetable oil -- a process called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation increases the shelf life and flavor stability of foods containing these fats." Trans fats raise levels of LDL, or "bad cholesterol," which increases the risk of coronary heart disease.

According to a company statement, Crystal's chefs are now preparing all food -- fries, salad dressings, baked goods, etc. -- with over a dozen trans-fat-free oils, including sesame seed, pumpkin seed, walnut seed, corn oil and several olive oils.

Crystal's move will benefit more than just its passengers; crew galleys, too, have gone trans-fat-free, with a greater emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. The line is also offering crewmembers-only wellness classes and sporting events.

Other companies cutting the trans fats include restaurants (Starbucks, Taco Bell) and hotel chains (Omni and Loews are two).

--by Melissa Baldwin, Senior Editor