Trans Fat: Where Are Trans Fats Hiding? (cont.)
Here are four ways you can make healthier choices at the supermarket. Immediately below these suggestions, we list the top 10 types of food loaded with trans fats. Print out this list to become a wise, safer shopper.
#1. Limit or avoid both saturated and trans fats types of fat.
There's no magic number to shoot for here, no "X" grams of trans fatty acids allowed in your daily diet, Moore tells WebMD. Just realize that the more fast food and packaged food you eat, the more trans fats you are getting in your diet.
#2. Use nutrition labels to estimate the trans fat content in a product.
Add up the saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. If they are less than the "total fat" number, the remainder is likely trans fat, says Moore.
#3. Remember: Reduced-fat and fat-free foods will have virtually no trans fat in them.
#4. Look for the term "partially hydrogenated oil" on the package ingredients list.
If partially hydrogenated oil is first on the list -- the product may contain trans fat.
Some manufacturers have already changed their recipes and formulas to reduce trans fats to less than 0.5% of fats. The ingredient list may state "partially hydrogenated oil," but if the packaging says "Contains No Trans Fats," you can believe it, says Moore.
There's more good news. "It's very likely that in the next few months, we'll be seeing more and more products without trans fats" as the food industry adjusts to the new consumer awareness, Moore tells WebMD.
The Top 10 "Trans Fat" Foods:
1. Spreads. Margarine is a twisted sister -- it's loaded with trans fats and saturated fats, both of which can lead to heart disease. Other non-butter spreads and shortening also contain large amounts of trans fat and saturated fat:
Tip: Look for soft-tub margarine, because it is less likely to have trans fat. Some margarines already say that on the packaging.
[Important note: When you cook with margarine or shortening, you will not increase the amount of trans fat in food, says Moore. Cooking is not the same as the hydrogenation process. "Margarine and shortening are already bad, but you won't make them any worse."]
2. Packaged foods. Cake mixes, Bisquick, and other mixes all have several grams of trans fat per serving.
Tip: Add flour and baking powder to your grocery list; do-it-yourself baking is about your only option right now, says Moore. Or watch for reduced-fat mixes.