Did you know that many of your favorite foods contain an artificially made and toxic unsaturated fat? Trans fats are hidden behind the label of hydrogenated oils and can be found in baked goods, fried foods, crackers, margarine/shortening, frozen pizza, french fries, chips, and popcorn. Trans fats are created in a lab by manipulating liquid vegetable oil and turning it into solid form. This is economically advantageous for the producer, but the health risks are many. Trans fats raise your “bad” cholesterol (LDL) levels, and lower your “good” cholesterol (HDL) levels. This puts you at greater risk for developing heart disease, stroke, and even type 2 diabetes.
So, how can you avoid eating trans fats? In the United States if a food has less than 0.5 grams of trans fat in a serving, the food label can read 0 grams trans fat. This hidden trans fat can add up quickly, especially if you eat several servings of multiple foods containing less than 0.5 grams a serving. When you check the food label for trans fat, also check the food's ingredient list for partially hydrogenated vegetable oil which indicates that the food contains some trans fat, even if the amount is below 0.5 grams.