Trans fat is double trouble for your heart health

If you read a nutrition label, you’ll see the total fat content is broken down into different types of fat, including saturated, unsaturated, and trans fats. Of all of these fats, many doctors consider trans fat to be the worst, and the ones you should avoid whenever possible. Find out more about trans fat and how you can keep it out of your diet.

What is trans fat?

Trans fat is created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil through a process called hydrogenation. Food manufactures use hydrogenation and the trans fats it creates to help foods stay fresh longer, have a longer shelf life, and feel less greasy. Unfortunately, trans fat is especially dangerous to your health because it raises your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and lowers your “good” (HDL) cholesterol.

How can you avoid trans fat?

Trans fat is most likely to be found in commercial baked goods, fried foods, shortenings, and margarine. Although many food manufacturers have stopped using trans fat because of the health risks, it’s still important to read labels. Be aware when reading labels that a food that contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving can be labeled as having 0 grams of trans fat. Because of this potential discrepancy, check the ingredient list for “partially hydrogenated” vegetable oil or shortening.