Owner of The Heart Attack Grill Says He Won't Cut Trans Fats in His Restaurant

This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," August 27, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, my next guest says that Dunkin' Donuts is simply caving in to the fat police. He's Jon Basso. He's the owner of something called the Heart Attack Grill. It's in Phoenix, where everything is cooked in lard, and they have no plans at all to cut trans fats. He is the author of "The Heart Attack Grill Diet."

So, Jon, you are not changing anything?

JON BASSO, OWNER, HEART ATTACK GRILL: Of course not. I feel that these companies have lost their integrity by changing their game plan in the middle of the stream to meet societal tastes. The Heart Attack Grill has always done things deep-fried in pure lard, and we always will. It is a matter of taste.

CAVUTO: OK. Now, you are not a real doctor, are you?

BASSO: Well, Julius Erving settled that one back in the '70s, so let's just call me Dr. Jon.



CAVUTO: Well, you're not a doctor. OK. But — and you have things like Single Bypass Burgers that go all the way up to Quadruple Bypass Burgers that I guess could do a wonder on your arteries.

Now, the critics are going to come after you and say, hey, in this day and age, not the good thing to do. You're saying what?

BASSO: I say live for the day. The Heart Attack Grill, like every restaurant should be, is a place to enjoy one's life. Eat to the fullest. Have fun. And don't worry about what people are telling you. If you want a second opinion, I will give you a second opinion.


CAVUTO: So, you're — you know, there is going to be growing pressure in your community to do this. And — and, you know, it will begin with protests. It will continue ad nauseam, one after another, saying, hey, this is not the politically correct thing to do.

You are telling me you will never bend, you will never waver?

BASSO: I am an American citizen. My customers, or patients, as I call them, are American citizens. And we will eat what we want to.

But I have to note to you, sir, that the lard we use has less saturated fat, less calories than your average tab of butter. There is no trans fat is lard, which is what we have always used.

The change shifting from one synthetic option to another synthetic option, simply to buck the trans fat, is ludicrous. Why don't they just use a better form of fat, like the Heart Attack Grill? Pure lard.

CAVUTO: All right.

BASSO: It's taste worth dying for.

CAVUTO: Well, you are right in this respect, Jon, that it does change. Our — our preferences and worries change. Jon Basso, owner of the Heart Attack Grill, very good seeing you again.

BASSO: Thank you.

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