Trans Fat Foods

Trans Fat Foods

Trans fats (also called "trans fatty acids" or "TFA's") are a variety of fat that is formed during the hydrogenation of oils to make them into margarine and other vegetable shortenings that are solid at room temperature. The addition of hydrogen to these oils helps keep them from turning rancid and gives them that texture that is so good for spreading on toast and for making piecrust.

Trans fats are bad fats

The problem is that trans fat may be as bad or worse for you than saturated fat, since it can significantly lower your good cholesterol (HDL) and increase your bad cholesterol (LDL), while at the same time promoting inflammation and the formation of blood clots.

All of these factors mean that trans fats in your diet may increase your chances for developing cardiovascular disease. There is also some research that suggests that trans fats may promote cancer, weaken the immune system, and speed up the aging process.

Public awareness has affected food supply

Ever since the public became aware of the dangers of trans fats, food companies have tried to limit or eliminate them from their products. However, they are still abundant in many baked products, restaurant foods and other prepared foods.

Skip the hydrogenated oils

Any foods that you purchase that have “hydrogenated” oils will have trans fats, so check the labels. Don’t be fooled by “zero trans fats” claims, since some less scrupulous companies have simply lowered the serving size enough to satisfy the required level to be able to claim no trans fats.

Here is a list of foods that are major sources of trans fats.

Click here for a printable copy of this list.

Trans Fat Foods

Most commercially prepared baked goods including:

Icing made with solid vegetable shortening

Fried Foods including:

French Fries
Onion Rings
Deep-fried mushrooms, cauliflower and other vegetables

Other processed foods including:

Non-dairy coffee creamers
Solid vegetable shortening
Microwave popcorn
Peanut butter (unless it is "old-fashioned" with the oil on top)

Click here to go from Trans Fat Foods page to Healthy Eating Home page.

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