Liz Crenshaw's Guide to Consumer Issues, Recalls and More

Ask Liz: Runny Noses, 1-800 Calls & Palm Oil

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Ask Liz: 10-31-08

    Why does your nose run when it's cold outside? KidsHealth.org says:

    • When it's cold outside, the the air in your nose is a lot warmer than the air around you.
    • Water drops condense and mix with mucus in your nose ... And then that runs out your nose.

    If you give up long distance phone service, can you still make 1-800 calls? We contacted AT&T, Sprint and Verizon:

    • All three companies say that you can call 1-800 numbers even if you don't have long distance service.
    • There are four toll-free codes: 800, 888, 877 and 866.
    • The charge for using a toll-free number is paid by the called party instead of the calling party, which means you can call as many toll-free numbers as you like, free of charge.

    Does palm oil contain trans fats? The Center for Science in the Public Interest helped us clear up this question: 

    • There’s a difference between palm oil and hydrogenated oils that contain trans fats.
    • Trans fats are created when an oil like soybean is treated with hydrogen to make a solid.
    • Since 2006, the FDA has required manufacturers to list trans fat amounts on product labels.
    • Palm oil is an attractive alternative because it is about one-third cheaper than soybean oil and it’s trans fat free.
    • However, the CSPI says that palm oil is still considerably less healthful than other vegetable oils and even promotes heart disease.
    • It recommends avoiding both types of oils by reading the label carefully and sticking to traditional oils like soy, canola and corn.

    Got a question for Ask Liz? Send it to askliz@nbcwashington.com.

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