Beware of Hidden Trans Fat

Just because something is listed as having 0 percent trans fat, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is completely trans-fat free. In terms of labeling, it’s important to note that trans fat may not be listed. If the words partially hydrogenated, margarine, or shortening appear in the ingredients list, the product contains some artificial trans fat. Ingredients are listed in decreasing amounts, so if the hydrogenated fat or shortening appears toward the beginning of the list, each serving probably has close to 0.5 gram of trans fat. If it appears toward the end of the list, there are probably close to 0 or 0.1 gram of trans fat per serving. If you purchase and eat processed foods, look for the phrase no trans fat. In this labeling, zero doesn’t mean zero, but no means what it says.

Labels sometimes us the terms partially hydrogenated and hydrogenated interchangeably, so avoid products that use either phrase. The words esterification or esterified are also red flags indicating fats that have been manipulated with chemicals.

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