Trans Fat Hasn't Disappeared

Artificial trans fat may be on the way out. The Food and Drug Administration has taken steps to essentially ban it, saying partially hydrogenated oils — the main source of trans fat — are no longer generally recognized as safe. But Consumer Reports says at this point you can still find trans fat in many products.

Trans fat was once a staple in fried foods, baked goods, and margarine. Now many foods have been reformulated and tout “zero grams of trans fat per serving.”

It’s good these man-made fats are being phased out.

Trisha Calvo of Consumer Reports says, “Trans fat can raise your risk of heart disease because it increases your cholesterol levels, specifically the levels of LDL or bad cholesterol.”

But many packaged foods still contain trans fat.

This Duncan Hines Creamy Frosting has one-point-five grams in two tablespoons.

And one tablespoon of this Land O’Lakes Margarine has three grams. A better choice is “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” with zero grams.

“You can’t assume. You always have to check the trans fat content on the nutrition label.” said Calvo.

Marie Callender’s Dutch Apple Pie has three grams per serving. Sara Lee’s Apple Pie lists zero grams per serving.

And Bisquick Original has one gram of trans fat in a third of a cup. Bisquick Heart Smart has none.

But even some foods like Crisco that list zero grams per serving may still contain trans fat, if you see in the ingredient’s list “partially hydrogenated” oil.

“Manufacturers can say zero grams of trans fat on a label if a product contains less than half a gram of trans fat per serving. But there’s no amount of trans fat that’s good for you.” said Calvo.

And if you eat a lot of these products, you could be getting a sizable amount of trans fat.

Consumer Reports says trans fat isn’t the only fat to watch out for. Saturated fat also is bad for your heart. So that’s something else to check when you check the nutrition label.

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