How do I avoid trans fats?

HealthyWomen
Administration
You want to avoid trans fatty acids (TFAs) because they can raise your cholesterol. TFA is present in small amounts in various animal products such as beef, pork, lamb and the butterfat present in butter and milk. To avoid them, use canola or olive oil when possible. Some fast foods and commercial baked goods and snack foods may contain trans fatty acids, but that is rapidly changing. Increasingly, manufacturers are not using hydrogenated fats, and many packaged snacks are now labeled to show that they contain no trans fatty acids.
Joel H. Fuhrman, MD
Family Medicine
When you are reading food labels and you see the words "partially hydrogenated" on the box, it is another way of saying trans fat, so avoid it. If you avoid processed food, it is easy to avoid trans fat.
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Keri Gans
Nutrition & Dietetics
Here are some tips to avoid trans fats:

1. Read the Nutrition Facts labels on the foods you buy and avoid those that list hydrogenated oils or partially hydrogenated oils.

2. Limit or avoid packaged snack foods and opt for natural snacks that contain healthier fats, such as nuts, seeds, and natural nut butters.

3. Choose a soft tub margarine rather than stick margarine and look for brands with no trans fats.

4. Sauté foods in olive oil instead of margarine.

5. Limit fast-food meals, especially anything fried. More often than not, order a side salad instead of French fries.
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Ximena Jimenez
Nutrition & Dietetics
Trans fats raises your bad cholesterol increasing the risk of having a heart disease. Your body does not need trans fats and the less you eat it the better for you. By limiting your intake of highly processed foods such as: commercial baked goods, chips, fast-food fried chicken, stick margarine and potpies and eating more whole foods (fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains) you can avoid trans fats.

If you read hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated or shortening on the label; the product contains trans fats and it needs to be avoided.
William B. Salt II., MD
Gastroenterology
Don’t eat any products that list partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oil as an ingredient, regardless of the oil. These fats are found in fried and processed foods, such as cakes, cookies, and snack foods. Look at the label. Look for a “0” in the trans fat box. Be aware that the label may say “zero grams trans fat,” even if partially hydrogenated oils are used, as long as the food contains less than half a gram per serving. Even though this is better than a larger amount, the best choice is no trans fat at all (eating several servings could add up to several grams of trans fat).
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.