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Trans Fats: the Bad Fat in Town
What Are Trans Fats?
The Harm of Trans Fats
Trans Fats and Cholesterol Levels
Food Labels and Trans Fats
Which Foods Contain Trans Fats?
- Partially hydrogenated oils is listed as an ingredient
Certain groups of foods tend to be high in trans fats, including:
- Deep fried foods, such as doughnuts and French fries
- Foods that sit on the shelf, but still stay fresh (eg, cookies, chips, crackers, baked goods)
- Frozen foods, especially frozen meals and pizzas
- Foods that are solid at room temperature when they should be liquid (eg, margarine that is solid, but made from oil)
- Meat and dairy products (small amounts of trans fat are found naturally in these foods)
|Product||Total Fat||Saturated Fat||Trans Fat|
|Adapted from: US Food and Drug Administration|
Lowering How Much Trans Fat You Eat
Eat less of the following foods that are high in trans fat:
- Margarine (particularly stick margarine)—Use olive oil, canola oil, liquid, or trans-fat-free tub margarines instead.
- Cookies, cakes, and pastries
- Crackers, cereals, and snack foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oil
- French fries and other fried foods
- If you enjoy margarine on your morning toast, use tub margarine that contains no trans fat and is low in saturated fat and use a smaller amount.
- Check the list of ingredients. If partially hydrogenated oils appear on the list, the food contains trans fats, even though it may be a very small amount.
- Foods high in trans fats tend to be snack foods, so fill up on whole grains, vegetables, lean meats, and fish. Choose fruits or low-fat dairy products for snacks.
- Limit saturated fats. Saturated fats and trans fats often go hand in hand, so limiting your intake of saturated fats should automatically lower your trans fat intake.
American Dietetic Association http://www.eatright.org/
American Heart Association http://www.americanheart.org/
Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca/
Health Canada Canada's Food Guide http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/
Board of Health votes to phase out artificial trans fat from New York City's restaurants. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website. Published December 2006. Available at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/pr2006/pr114-06.shtml. Accessed August 6, 2012.
Dietary recommendations for cardiovascular disease prevention. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/. Updated July 30, 2012. Accessed August 6, 2012.
Lichtenstein AH, Ausman LM, Jalbert SM, et al. Effects of different forms of dietary hydrogenated fats on serum lipoprotein cholesterol levels. N Engl J Med. 1999;340:1933-1940.
Lichtenstein AH, Appel L, Brands M, et al. Diet and lifestyle recommendations revision 2006. A scientific statement from the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee. Circulation. 2006;114:82-96.
Nutrition. Kentucky Fried Chicken website. Available at: http://www.kfc.com/nutrition/. Accessed August 6, 2012.
Trans fats. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/FatsAndOils/Fats101/Trans-Fats%5FUCM%5F301120%5FArticle.jsp. Updated October 29, 2010. Accessed August 6, 2012.
Trans fat now listed with saturated fat and cholesterol. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/NFLPM/ucm274590.htm. Updated October 31, 2011. Accessed August 6, 2012.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 08/2012
- Update Date: 08/06/2012