The cookies in the example could be labeled "no trans fat per serving" because they contain less than 0.5g per serving. However, in consuming more than one serving, you could end up consuming trans fats without knowing, unless you read the ingredient list and spot the culprit - partially hydrogenated oil.
Saturated fat - a fat molecule "saturated" with hydrogen atoms
Monounsaturated fat - a fat molecule with one double bond in the fatty acid chain. The formation of this double bond eliminates a hydrogen atom
Polyunsaturated fat - similar to monounsaturated, only with more than one double bond.
Trans fat - the partially hydrogenated form of mono- or polyunsaturated fat.
Hydrogenation causes the double bonds to break and become single bonds, introducing hydrogen atoms.
Fully hydrogenated unsaturated fats become saturated fats.
Partially hydrogenated unsaturated fats become trans fats. Trans fats contain trans isomers, which have been shown to have a negative impact on one's heart disease risk. This is why any product that contains PARTIALLY hydrogenated oils WILL contain some amount of trans fat, even if it contains less than 0.5g per serving, and can therefore be labeled "no trans fat per serving".
For example, say your favorite cookie (2 cookies per serving) contains 0.25 grams per serving, but you usually eat 8 cookies in a sitting. You are consuming 1 gram of transfat with your snack, which is about half of the maximum amount recommended per person per day.
Thanks for this great info. We cook with olive oil only, we do not buy regular cooking oil. And when I make pizza, the dough is simply flour, salt and yeast, no lard. The next time that croissant comes tempting me, I'll surely think twice and then some.
Very informative article. I have also read that the process of frying food at very high temperatures actually even makes unsaturated fats convert chemically into saturated or trans fats, so that even if your fries are cooked in vegetable oil you still end up with a lot of the negative effects associated with trans fats. Has anyone else heard something similar?
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