Did you know if a product contains less than half a gram of trans fat per serving, the manufacturer is not required to list it on the label? This means a product with 0.49 grams of trans fat can read no trans fat on the label. As a result, if you consume a few servings of a product like this, you could consume over a gram of trans fat without knowing it!
According to the American Heart Association you should limit your daily consumption of trans fat to less than 1 percent of your calories. This means if you consume 2,000 calories per day, no more than 20 calories or 2 grams of fat should come from trans fat.
So, how can you tell if a product contains trans fat? Look for “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oil in the ingredient label because trans fat is created during the hydrogenation process. Restaurants and food manufacturers love to use these hydrogenated oils because they taste good, are inexpensive and help preserve food.
Trans fat is often found in fried foods and bakery items such as pie crust, pizza dough, cookies, cake, French fries, crackers, margarine, and shortening and a small amount of trans fat occurs naturally in animal foods such as lamb, butterfat, and beef. The best way to avoid trans fat is to eat a well balanced diet that is mostly plant-based. Don’t forget to read labels and limit or avoid products that contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils because this means they contain trans fat!