Facts about trans fats

Trans fatty acids; Partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs); Cholesterol - trans fats; Hyperlipidemia - trans fats; Atherosclerosis - trans fat; Hardening of the arteries - trans fat; Hypercholesterolemia - trans fat; Coronary artery disease - trans fat; Heart disease - trans fat; Peripheral artery disease - trans fat; PAD - trans fat; Stroke - trans fat; CAD - trans fat; Heart healthy diet - trans fat

Trans fat is a type of dietary fat. Of all the fats, trans fat is the worst for your health. Too much trans fat in your diet increases your risk for heart disease and other health problems.

Trans fats are made when liquid oils are turned into solid fats, like shortening or margarine. These are called partially-hydrogenated oils (PHOs).

Because of the health risks from these fats, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned food manufacturers from adding PHOs to foods.

Although the food industry has greatly reduced the use of trans fat in recent years, this type of fat may still be found in many fried, packaged, or processed foods, including:

  • Anything fried and battered
  • Shortening and stick margarine
  • Commercially baked cakes, pies, and cookies
  • Refrigerated dough

Animal foods, such as red meats and dairy, have small amounts of trans fats, which is not cause for concern in its natural form. Most trans fats are artificially made and come from processed foods.

Trans-fatty acids

Trans-fatty acids are manufactured fats created during a process called hydrogenation, which is aimed at stabilizing polyunsaturated oils to prevent them from becoming rancid and to keep them solid at room temperature. They may be particularly dangerous for heart health and may pose a risk for certain cancers. Hydrogenated fats are used in stick margarine, fast foods, commercial baked goods (donuts, cookies, crackers), and fried foods.

How Trans Fats Affect Your Health

How Much you can eat

Reading Nutrition Labels

Making Healthy Food Choices