DES MOINES, Iowa (WJW) — A new bill is aimed at keeping hydrogenated vegetable oil away from school children.
The Iowa House bill, which made it through a panel last Thursday and is heading to an education committee, is working to eliminate margarine and other hydrogenated vegetable oil out of school lunches around the state.
Instead, the bill’s author Rep. Jeff Shipley, R-Birmingham, suggests school’s use butter in their cooking, with exceptions for olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil for some kids with dietary restrictions.
“There’s obviously a long history of scientific research, connecting nutrition to positive health outcomes, increased physical performance,” Shipley told the Iowa Capital Dispatch. “Trans fats, in particular to the trans fats that are in margarine, hydrogenated soybean oil, have been connected to a lot of adverse health outcomes.”
Meanwhile, school representatives aren’t sold on the bill, telling the Dispatch that butter is more expensive and that they’re not convinced it’s so much healthier.
When it comes to using margarine or butter in cooking, however, the Cleveland Clinic, says that both have a downside for those trying to keep their heart healthy.
“The take home message is to use extra virgin olive oil most often, read labels and check ingredients for any solid spreads to minimize saturated fat and unhealthy oils,” preventive cardiology dietitian Julia Zumpano said in a Cleveland Clinic statement.