Beginning March 1, Royal Caribbean International said it will be the first cruise line to begin removing trans fats from its menus, a process it said will be complete by the end of 2007.
Trans fat is a byproduct of chemically hydrogenated vegetable oil and has been linked to diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Effective immediately, Royal Caribbean said, trans fat-free frying oil will replace the oil currently used in food preparation, and a selection of trans fat-free options will be introduced to Royal Caribbean’s menus. The trans fat-free oil was tested on the Navigator of the Seas last November, Royal Caribbean said, with positive feedback.
“If we can offer guests a healthier serving of the foods they love by switching to trans fat-free oils, while maintaining the same level of satisfaction, why wouldn’t we make the switch?” said Michael Bayley, senior vice president of total guest satisfaction.
Bayley said that the move coincides with a “shift in the lifestyle choices of Royal Caribbean guests. Our guests are more active, health-conscious cruisers.”
Royal Caribbean is the first cruise line to jump on the anti trans fat campaign, led by several major national food outlets including KFC, Taco Bell and Starbucks, which have reduced or removed trans fat from their offerings. Last month, New York City voted to become the first municipality to ban the use of most trans fats in city restaurants
In addition, Loews Hotels properties in the U.S. and Canada and Walt Disney Co. and Universal Parks & Resorts theme parks in the U.S. revealed similar plans to eliminate trans fats from their menus this year.
Meanwhile, JetBlue began offering a 100% trans fat-free selection of snacks and beverages on all flights as of Dec. 15.