Trans fats have been in the news quite often lately. Do you know what trans fats are or why they are a concern?
Trans fats occur as a result of adding hydrogen to liquid fats (oils), which turns them into a solid or semi-solid fat. The process is known as hydrogenation. Trans fats can increase the LDL (bad) cholesterol number, which increases the risk of coronary artery disease.
Trans fats are commonly found in many processed foods, including store bought baked goods such as donuts, pastries, cookies, muffins, cakes, snack cakes, and crackers; regular microwave popcorn; deep-fried snack foods such as regular chips, Fritos, Cheetos, etc; and deep-fried restaurant foods.
Trans fat is hidden in these foods, but we can check the ingredient list of store-bought foods for the word hydrogenation to find the trans fat. The good news is that as of January of 2006, all food labels must include the amount of trans fat in a product. Also, restaurants are beginning to announce that they are deep-frying in non-trans fat liquid oils.
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