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.
- 2/10/2009 12:00:09 PM