Five on Friday: 5 Surprising Foods with Trans Fat
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Five On Friday

Five On Friday

5 Surprising Foods with Trans Fat

Trans fats are extremely unhealthy and have no known health benefits. Trans fats increase LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and may decrease HDL (the “good” cholesterol), which increases your risk for heart disease and plaque build up in the arteries.


There are 2 types:
1. Trace amounts naturally occurring in meat and dairy
2. Man made and a
rtificially added to foods in the form of partially hydrogenated oil (hydrogen is added to liquid oil turning it into a solid fat)


The one you need to focus on is artificial trans fat. Current recommendations are to keep your trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible; I encourage my clients to consume zero grams of artificial trans fat. It’s often used in packaged goods as it is inexpensive and increases the food’s shelf life, stability and texture. It’s used in restaurants because they can keep it in their fryer and it does not have to be changed as often as other oils.


According to the FDA, a food can bear the label “trans fat free” if it contains less than .5 grams per serving size. Just looking at the nutrition facts label isn’t good enough, because many foods list 0 grams but in reality are <.5 grams. All of those little .5 grams of trans fat can add up significantly. There is a FDA proposal to ban artificial trans fats, but until that would take place, the easiest way to avoid trans fat is to read the ingredient list and avoid foods with partially hydrogenated oil. See the label below for coffee creamer, a food that at first glance looks like it contains no trans fats.

Since it has been announced how unhealthy trans fats are, many food companies have reformulated their recipes to remove the trans fats. Many, however, have not.

Trans fat are mostly found in baked goods, cakes, crackers, granola bars, cookies, pizza dough, pie crusts, pudding, boxed cake mix, hot chocolate, ready to eat frosting, chips, popcorn, fried foods, refrigerator dough, coffee creamer and stick margarine. Brands such as Smucker's, Hostess, Little Debbie, Poptarts, Kellogg's, Hamburger Helper, Stove Top, Nabisco, Jiffy, Quaker, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Duncan Hines, Nestle and Jimmy Dean all still have artificial trans fat in some of their products.

You can stay safe by shopping at Whole Foods (they removed all artificial trans fat from the products they sell), purchase Trader Joe's brand foods (free of artificial trans fat) or become a label reader.

Knowing all this, it DID surprise me to find trans fat in these 5 foods:

These are advertised as a "sensible dessert to finish your day".
So much for "plain" bread crumbs containing "just" bread crumbs. 
Baked with care? Or baked with trans fat?
Quite the oxymoron to list "Heart Healthy Whole Grains" on the box. (Note: not all oatmeal have trans fat; the trans fat in this oatmeal comes from the added Creamer).
Trying to make a quick, healthy breakfast? Make your pancakes from scratch or choose one of the many brands that are trans-fat free.