Tracking Trans Fats

Want to know how many trans fatty acids are in the foods you eat? Trans fats, as they are also known, are the mostly manmade fats found in a number of foods. They give texture and add flavor to foods we love. They also inexpensively extend the shelf life of food products. So, they are mostly found in fast foods and processed foods like cookies, chips, pastries, cereals, margarine, and shortening.

Since 2006, all packaged foods have been required by the Food and Drug Administration to list all trans fat grams. But even so, you can count them for yourself. Here’s how to estimate the number of trans fatty grams in your food:

Look at the list of ingredients. If you see hydrogenated oil, partially hydrogenated oil, or vegetable shortening, these could indicate trans fats. First add up the grams of saturated, unsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats on the label. Subtract that number from the number of grams of total fat. The difference is the amount of trans fat.

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