Manufacturers produces trans fats by converting liquid oils to solid fats in a process called hydrogenation. These fatty acids are popular because they increase the shelf life and flavor of the processed food, but has been found to be unhealthy when consumed in large quantities. Some trans fats occur naturally in butter, cheese, beef and other animal products, but is never found in fruits, vegetables or whole grains
Check the labels on foods such as vegetables shortenings, margarine, crackers, cookies, soft drinks, snacks and fried food. These elements often have the highest amounts of trans fats.
Read the Nutrition Facts label on the products. New labels have a specific “Trans Fat” section under “Total Fat.” This label tells you how many grams of trans fat is in each serving.
Look for the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredient list. These words indicate trans fat.
Compare amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol with trans fat to get the best health information. Note labels claiming “Trans Fat Free.” While the packaging tells you about the trans fat, be sure to check the rest of the nutritional facts to determine if there is a healthy choice.
Cook with olive oil, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats to ensure you are eating a healthy diet that is most trans fat free. You may never be able to completely stay away from trans fats, saturated fats and cholesterol, but you can control how much you eat.
Contact the food manufacturer for a full disclosure of nutrition facts, and ask restaurants for trans fat content. Many restaurants have been completely trans fat free and try a healthier approach to cooking. Be willing to find out the information you need to know.