The Truth About Trans Fats

Trans fats are hidden in your foods, even in products claiming that they are “trans fat-free”!

According to the FDA, a product containing less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving may state “Trans fat 0 g” on the Nutrition Facts panel. This gives manufacturers permission to limit the portion sizes they list to amounts providing just under 0.5 grams of trans fat to avoid having to label them.

Read more about the FDA's proposed ban on artificial trans fats

Trans fats are amongst the most dangerous (if not the most dangerous) ingredients in our food supply and must be strictly avoided. They increase total blood cholesterol and LDL (the bad cholesterol), while lowering HDL (the good cholesterol). They also decrease insulin sensitivity affecting blood sugar balance, and cause a rise in apolipoprotein A, another risk factor for heart disease, as well as enhance the production of pro-inflammatory hormones (prostaglandin E2) – bad news for arthritics or anyone with pain or allergies.

Trans fats are hiding in margarine, peanut butter, cookies, pies, other baked goods, breaded foods, chocolate bars, and especially in products marketed for children.

Read more about chemicals in cookies

Read ingredient labels carefully. Avoid any foods that list “partially hydrogenated” oil in the ingredients list. The presence of partially hydrogenated oils means that the product contains trans fats, despite what the labels say.


Image: Tom Magliery


By Lisa Tsakos| July 05, 2011
Categories:  Eat

About the Author

Lisa Tsakos

Lisa Tsakos

Lisa has been in her own practice for over 15 years and specializes in weight management. She teaches natural nutrition in both corporate and educational environments and is a shining example of someone who practices what she teaches.

Lisa is a nutritionist and educator specializing in weight management. After losing weight several years ago through a more natural diet and by improving her digestion, she committed to sharing her new-found knowledge and returned to school to study nutrition. Over the past decade, her Nu-Vitality Weight Program has helped employees at numerous corporations lose thousands of pounds. In addition, Lisa regularly consults for groups and individuals with unique nutritional needs such as police officers and athletes. Lisa has been featured on the Discovery Channel, numerous radio programs and is a contributor to various publications. Additionally, she teaches nutrition at multiple post-secondary schools, has taught natural food cooking workshops, and authored two books.

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