7 Trans Fat Containing Food Groups Exposed

By Nicole German (RD, LD)

2761-451029_nutrition__trans_fat_panel.jpgNow that we know that trans fat is unhealthy since it can contribute to heart disease, it is important to scope out the food isles for 100% trans fat free foods.

And remember, even if a food is labeled as 0 grams trans fat, it may still contain .5 grams trans fat per serving.

So, as the consumer, you must read the ingredient list to look for partially hydrogenated oil.

Even the most skilled label readers can be misled by advertising.When shopping at the grocery store, there are certain foods that more commonly contain partially hydrogenated oils.

Top Trans Fat Foods

  • Crackers: I like to look for whole wheat as the first ingredient, and canola or olive oil as the fat source.
  • Stick Margarines: Usually a high source of trans fat. Choose a trans fat free tub margarine or whipped butter.
  • Frozen Meals/Appetizers: Many products that contain some form of pastry will contain trans fat. Even frozen products like taquitos or specialty frozen pizzas are offenders.
  • Specialty Chocolates/Candies: A lot of candies that contain some form of white chocolate tend to have trans fat. I am not sure why this is. But, even some Dove chocolates have trans fat.
  • Baking Mixes: Jiffy and cake or muffin mixes have trans fat since they have a dehydrated fat source in the ingredient list. These products need to be shelf stable for quite a while, so they use trans fat which has a longer shelf life for a fat source.
  • Prepared Frostings: The tubs of frosting also contain trans fat, but look for other varieties like whipped, or reduced sugar, or cream cheese because they may surprisingly contain no trans fat.
  • Convenient Store/Fast Food Sandwiches: Egg and cheese sandwiches, or anything on a biscuit may contain high levels of trans fat. It is usually the bread source that contains the trans fat. You can also research your fast food choices online.

Final Words of Advice

I have been trying to get my family to cut trans fat out of their diet for years now, but what it comes down to is commitment to label reading.

You have to always scan the label for that partially hydrogenated oil every time you buy a packaged food. Even I have been fooled two times now.

How about you, do you read labels to avoid trans fat?

8 Comments

  1. sopje

    Have you any idea how much time I spent in the supermarket??
    Reading the labels of all the new things I see and want to buy. Why are manufacturers aloud to put that bad crap in our food, why does the government not make tougher rules so we can read easily what is in the food we buy???

    Reply
  2. Jim

    Yes definitely some chocolatey candies have trans-fats – particularly the ones that have a gooey filling in them.

    Better to eat dark chocolate.

    Reply
  3. Jim

    Are you serious? What brand of raisins?

    Reply
  4. julie

    I don’t buy too much stuff that has a list of ingredients, but when I do, I read the label. I do eat deli sandwiches occasionally, now I’m going to have to look in the bread aisle next time to see how common it is that there’s trans-fats. But you’re probably right, I think I stopped buying bread from anywhere but farmer’s market for just that reason. While looking for WW tortillas a few weeks back, I found some that had trans-esterified fat, which I am passing on as well.

    Reply
  5. John is losing weight

    Can u share (recipe)?

    Reply
  6. Spectra

    Sure, I read labels–and then I usually avoid buying any products that have more than, say, 3 or 4 ingredients in them. Just about all processed foods contain a lot of MSG, trans fats, corn syrup, etc. to keep them shelf-stable and palatable. Trans fats also help the texture of some foods (including those chocolates you mentioned). I try to eat as few processed foods as possible–I recently discovered some recipes to make your own crackers and they’re much easier and tastier than you’d think.

    Reply
  7. Callie

    Wow-Some of these make sense….but dove chocolate? I had brought a bag on impulse right before the holiday, and then freaked out and added them to stocking stuffers and gave them to friends when i saw them. Glad I only had 2!

    Reply
  8. Heather

    I found raisins with partially hydrogenated oils in them. Raisins.

    Reply