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Burger King, the world’s second largest hamburger chain, announced Friday that it will be switching to trans-fat-free oil in all U.S. stored by the end of next year. Burger King stated that they have already been using the trans-fat oil in hundreds of their stores, but they want all restaurants to have the healthier alternative.

BK uses mostly cooking oil for french fries and the majority of its chicken products. The company tested the new trans-fat-free oil in their food and had customers taste test it. Consumers reported that more than a dozen of the items cooked in the new oil tasted the same or better than they had before.

Critics were saying that Burger King was taking to long to switch to healthier oils, and in response the Center for Science in the Public Interest sued Burger King in May. Burger King replied and said that they would begin infiltrating their zero trans-fat oil by the end of the year.

Other fast-food chains have done the same thing. McDonald’s Corp. has begun to use the trans-fat-free oil this year and Wendy’s International Corp. started using the same oil in August 2006. Starbucks announced that they would cut out trans fats in their foods and drinks in the U.S. and Canada by the end of this year and KFC and Taco Bell restaurants are not using trans fat in some of their foods.

Trans fats are listed on food labels as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. They can raise bad cholesterol and lower healthy cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease, doctors say.

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