22 Foods High in Trans Fat You Should Avoid

There are types of fat and they all have different effects in our bodies. Some of them are good, such as those you can find in olive oil and avocado while others can be harmful.

There’s a particular kind of fat, however, that has no health benefits whatsoever and can only be bad for you: Trans fats.

Why You Should Avoid Foods High in Trans Fat

Trans fats are a type of fat, mostly present in fast food and processed foods of all kinds, that’s known for being bad for your health.

While there are natural foods that include trans fats, such as red meat and some types of dairy, it’s most commonly found in fried foods, baked goods, fast food and a good number of processed foods.

The main source of trans fat, which are “partially hydrogenated oils” are used to prevent foods from melting at room temperature and preserving them longer.

Why Trans Fats Are Bad for You

Trans fat is the worst kind of fat found in food. It has no good properties and it’s known for increasing your bad cholesterol while reducing your good cholesterol levels.

This leads to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as high blood pressure and obesity which also increases your risk for heart disease and other conditions.

Recent studies also point out that there may be a link between trans fats and Alzheimer’s disease and some forms of cancer, such as breast and prostate.

Type 2 diabetes, liver problems, infertility and even depression have also been linked to diets high in trans fats.

Foods High in Trans Fats

Here’s a list of foods that contain large quantities of trans fats. Consider eating them only on special occasions or, better yet, cutting them out of your diet entirely.

French Fries: While some fast food restaurants have stopped using hydrogenated oils to fry cook their food, many still use them. Some restaurants use as much as 3.5 of trans fats per serving when it comes to their fries.

Fried Chicken: Frozen fried chicken has come a long way when it comes to reducing trans fats but some are still using them. Various processed chicken meals, such as nuggets, can have up to 1 gram of trans fats per serving.

Anything Fried for that matter:  Fried foods are bad for your health, regardless if they’re cooked with hydrogenated or another kind of oil. If you’re not sure what oil was used to fry the food you’re better off not eating it.

Margarine / Butter Sticks: Hydrogenated oil is used to help food keep its shape when in room temperature which means that sticks of butter or margarine have it. Use the soft spread presentations instead.

Crisco: Companies can get away with saying their products have “zero trans fats” when they have 0.5 grams or less but that doesn’t make them trans fat free. Keep that in mind when using Crisco shortenings, as hydrogenated oils are still in the label.

Pie: Unless it’s homemade, there’s a good chance your pie has trans fats. Grocery store pies can have as much as 4 grams of trans fat per serving so stay clear from baked goods unless you make them yourself.

Cake Mix / Frosting: Even if you find a trans fat free cake mix chances are you won’t be able to do the same when it comes to frosting. If you can’t make some of these yourself just read the labels carefully and get the ones with the least trace amounts of trans fats possible.

Pancakes and Waffles: The same goes for pancake and waffle mixes. Most commercial brands have hydrogenated oils or straight up trans fats in their recipes.

Ice Cream: While hydrogenated oil might be absent from most ice creams, trans fats are still present. This is because dairy has naturally occurring trans fats, which are thought to be less harmful than the processed ones.

Microwave Popcorn: Popcorn by itself is fine. It’s the things you put on them that you need to worry. Butter flavor, caramel flavor, extra butter, and more. They have so much trans fats they can reach 15 grams per bag.

Biscuits and Cinnamon Rolls: While some brands are “trans fats free” many have hydrogenated oils. Most brands have less than 0.5 grams per serving but you should still check the labels to find the one that has the least.

Breakfast Sandwiches: Many breakfast sandwiches use biscuits, butter and trans fats rich meats such as bacon which means that your breakfast sandwich can have as much as 6 grams!

Creamers: Both powdered and liquid creamers have hydrogenated oils in their ingredient list. If you must use creamer is better to stick to the dairy kind.

Ground Beef: Just as dairy, red mead has naturally occurring trans fats so you should avoid making them a big part of your diet.

Crackers: Some brands are truly trans fats and hydrogenated oils free. Others not so much. Keep an eye on the nutrition label to know what you’re buying.

Frozen Dinners: When it comes to foods high in trans fats frozen dinners take the cake. Practically all frozen meals have trans fats. They’re used to keep the food in top shape and to give them a richer taste.

Cookies and Cakes: Store bought frozen desserts can have as much as 2.5 grams of trans fats per serving while cookies advertised as trans fats free can have 0.5 grams per serving.

Frozen and Creamy beverages: Beware of that Frappuccino or that milkshake, some use artificial flavoring that’s swimming with trans fats. Some soft-serve ice cream based beverages can have as much as 9 grams of trans fats.

Meat Sticks: They might be delicious but a single meat stick can have up to 2 grams of trans fat, which you’ll be avoiding if you eat lean meats instead.

Canned Chili: Most chili brands will have anything between 0.5 to 1.5 grams per serving so you’re better off making your own! (Though it will still have trans fats but rather the natural ones)

Pudding Desserts: Because most brand use dairy there’s always trace amounts of trans fats in pudding desserts. However, there might also be hydrogenated oils so look out for those. 

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