Artificial trans fat may be on the way out. The Food & Drug Administration has taken steps to essentially ban it, saying partially hydrogenated oils -- the main source of trans fat -- are no longer generally recognized as safe.
Trans fat was once a staple in fried foods, baked goods, and margarine. Now many foods have been reformulated and tout “zero grams of trans fat per serving.” Trans fat can raise your risk of heart disease because it increases your cholesterol levels, specifically the levels of LDL or bad cholesterol. But many packaged foods still contain trans fat.
Duncan Hines Creamy Frosting has 1.5 grams in 2 tablespoons.
And 1 tablespoon of Land O’Lakes Margarine has 3 grams. A better choice is I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, with zero grams.
Marie Callender’s Dutch Apple Pie has 3 grams per serving. Sara Lee’s Apple Pie lists zero grams per serving.
And Bisquick Original has 1 gram of trans fat in one-third of a cup. Bisquick Heart Smart has none.
But even some foods, such as Crisco, that list zero grams per serving may still contain trans fat, if you see in the ingredient’s list “partially hydrogenated” oil. Manufacturers can say zero grams of trans fat on a label if a product contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. There’s no amount of trans fat that’s good for you. And if you eat a lot of those products, you could be getting a sizable amount of trans fat.
Trans fat isn’t the only fat to watch out for. Saturated fat is also bad for your heart. So that’s something else to look for when you check the nutrition label.