Giving blood is very safe -- and now, you might say, even safer. As you offer your arm to the needle and then watch as the pouch fills up, you can be secure in the knowledge that the treat they give you when you're through is trans-fat-free.
"In response to popular demand for healthier snacks, the Red Cross is replacing several high trans-fat and total fat post-donation snacks with zero trans-fat and limited total fat items," says a statement from the American Red Cross Blood Services, Southern California Region. Out: Keebler Sandies Pecan Shortbread Cookies, Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies and more. In: items such as Nabisco Nutter Butter Sandwich Cookies Bites and Frito-Lay Rold Gold Pretzels. (Our inner pedant has to note at this point that technically speaking, the FDA's food labeling regulations allow products with less than 0.5 gram of trans fats per serving to still list their trans-fat content as zero, an issue that angers some consumer advocacy groups.)
Want to give blood? You can make appointments by calling (800) GIVELIFE or going online at www.GiveLife.org.
Photo: Giving blood in Santa Ana by Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times