What are trans fats?


What are trans fats?

Trans fats (or trans fatty acids) are created in an industrial process that adds
hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. Another name for trans
fats is "partially hydrogenated oils." Look for them on the ingredient list on
food packages.


Why do companies use trans fats?

Companies like using trans fats in their foods because they're easy to use, inexpensive
to produce and last a long time. Trans fats give foods a desirable taste and texture.
Many restaurants and fast-food outlets use trans fats to deep-fry foods because
oils with trans fats can be used many times in commercial fryers.


How do trans fats effect my health?

Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol
levels. Eating trans fats increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
It's also associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


Which foods contain trans fats?

Trans fats can be found in many foods but especially in fried foods like French
fries and doughnuts, and baked goods including pastries, pie crusts, biscuits, pizza
dough, cookies, crackers, and stick margarines and shortenings. You can determine
the amount of trans fats in a particular packaged food by looking at the Nutritional
Facts panel. You can also spot trans fats by reading ingredient lists and looking
for the ingredients referred to as "partially hydrogenated oils.