You may have heard of trans fat and already are working to keeping it off your shelves What you may not know is that trans fat can appear in places you least expect and you might already be consuming it on a regular basis.
The lines in labeling foods you buy are gray and can be misleading.
Here is everything you need to know about what is safe and what to look for the next time you head to the market.
Trans-unsaturated fatty acids or better known as trans fat have been widely used in foods since the 1950’s.
It is made using vegetable fats and commonly found in fried foods, margarine, snack foods and various other forms.
Fats in general are a natural and healthy part of of a good diet.
The problem with trans fat is that trans fat increases your risk cardiovascular disease.
This can lead to serious heart conditions and is rapidly becoming a leading cause of death in the world.
Even when the food label reads, “Trans fats 0 grams per serving,” it does not mean that it has zero trans fats.
If the foods contain less than 0.5 grams of trans fats, companies are allowed to round that number down to zero.
For example, if the food product contains 0.4 grams of trans fats per serving, the label can display it as 0 grams.
So you have a shopping list and want to know which products have trans fat? Here are some of the foods that contain traces of trans fat in them.
When it comes to spreads, looking at the total fat on the nutrition label is not enough.
You want to buy something with no partially hydrogenated oil in them.
Here are some examples of the different brands of margarine’s that are bad for you too:
Brummel & Brown Original – contains soybean oil (which is a partially hydrogenated oil).
Land O’ Lakes – Their cows are fed with GMO feed and contains soybean oil.
Cake mixes and frostings
Even products labeled as trans fat free can still contain traces of trans fat in cake mixes.
Another simple clue to look out for is the word “shortening”.
Jiffy Golden Yellow Cake Mix
Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe French Vanilla
Keep an eye out for this word for is it a sure way you can tell of your mix has trans fat.
The same thing applies for frosting, just be careful of the listed trans fat zero can also contain as much as .49g per serving.
Betty Crocker Vanilla Rich & Creamy Frosting.
Most fried chickens contain some level of trans fat. For example, Popeye’s Fried Chicken Wings contain 1g of trans fat. While Kentucky Fried Chicken has lowered the trans fat content to 0.2 grams of trans fat per serving.
The cooking oils used for frying french fries are likely to be vegetables oil. These oil are the hidden sources of trans fat. Take a look at the following –
Arbys Curly Fries
Powdered nondairy creamers contains more trans fat compared to its liquid counterpart.
Another alternative is 1% milk which contain less trans fat and contains vitamin A and D3.
Stay away from half and half. It contains more calories, fat and trans f at than even powdered nondairy creamer.
Half and Half
When choosing a peanut butter stick to natural peanut butters as they contain less trans fat along with salt and sugar.
Peter Pan Creamy Original
Inherently microwave popcorn by nature will always have some trans fat due to the process of preserving the grain before popping.
They can however, be found with low trans fat from almost every brand.
Try to stay away from anything labeled movie theater butter as they usually contain high amounts of trans fat.
Act II Light Butter
Frozen dinners are very likely to contain trans fat do to the preservative nature of the fatty acid.
It is best to just grab some fresh meats and vegetables and make a nice home cooked meal instead of gambling on a microwave plate of full of question marks.
Hungry-Man® Home-Style Meatloaf
Take a look at the label of the ice cream you are buying. It is highly likely there are some trans fat stated in their nutrition facts. But it’s difficult to resist the temptations, isn’t it? Take a look at the following ice-cream –
When buying your favorite crispy snack, make sure to read the nutrition label and check that your bag has zero trans fat per serving to minimize the amount of trans fat intake.
Another thing to look out for is to choose a brand that keeps the ingredients to around 3 or 4 total ingredients.
Doing so may decrease the likelihood of preservatives containing trans fat.
Like most of the other foods we have talked about, most of the crackers used vegetables oil in them, hence these vegetable oil contains are the hidden source of trans fat. Here’s one of them:
Granola bars are an amazing snack food packed with all kinds of great ingredients that your body needs to get it going.
When choosing which bar you want, make sure the label reads zero trans fat and look closely at the type of oils they used.
Pie Crusts will have a a combination of oils and butter built into the mix. Again there is hydrogenated oil in the ingredients.
Watch out for the word ‘shortening’ in the label.
Pancake and Waffle Mix
Bisquick might be at every other counter when you are reaching for a pancake or waffle mix, but there are plenty of zero trans fat alternatives that are just as tasty. Watch out for the vegetable oil used in the mix.
Bisquick Original Pancake and Baking Mix
On the go and skipping breakfast might lead you to the nearest fast food drive thru for quick meal in a breakfast sandwich.
Be aware that these will be packed with all kinds of fatty foods, some including trans fat, especially those including biscuits.
McDonald’s Steak, Egg & Cheese Biscuit
Frozen and Creamy Beverages
Milkshakes and other creamy drinks are not going to be the healthiest snack and are highly likely to be high in trans fat. There are many scary ingredients in them too.
Steak N’ Shake Strawberry Sundae
Ground Beef Hamburgers
Trans fat are a natural occurrence in ground beef and there is no avoiding this issue when chomping into your favorite hamburger.
These fats found in beef however are much safer than the processed kinds found in other foods on this list.
Denny’s Double Cheeseburger
With all the cookies on the aisle to choose from, competitors are quickly cranking out many choices of your favorite cookies with zero trans fat.
Mrs. Fields Cookies
Packaged Pudding Snacks
Store bought packaged pudding snacks are just loaded with trans fat and is best to avoid this product altogether. Take a look at this pudding –
The war between heart healthy consumers and huge corporations selling their products may not be over any time soon, but your best weapon to equip yourself with is knowledge and some common sense.
Nutrition labels are the most important part of choosing the right foods for you and you families.
If you are suffering from high cholesterol or heart disease, here’s what you can do to protect your heart –
About the Author:
Emma Deangela is the best selling author of The Alkaline Diet Program and 80/20 Fat Loss. She has helped over tens of thousands of men and women to lose weight and transform their health with sound nutrition advice. Learn how you can lose weight fast – How to lose weight by adding these alkaline foods.
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