I avoid processed foods that often contain these (think onion rings; other fried food). If you can’t avoid processed foods, please read the labels!
Other words for trans fats:
- hydrogenated vegetable oil
- partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.
Trans fats are essentially wax that allows longer shelf life for foods. But as Michael Pollan points out, real food is supposed to go bad! Trans fats promote bad lipids and increase heart disease. Better to eat butter than most margarine.
SIDEBAR: Taking Trans Fat Off the Menu
It’s not just at the grocery store that you need to be concerned about trans fat. If you’re like the average American, you consume about 38 percent of your fats in restaurants, coffee shops and other places where food is served — and where food labels are not required.
What can you do to limit trans fat when you’re eating out? Here are some tips:
Request that your food be cooked in olive oil or another natural vegetable oil, not hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil. If your waiter doesn’t know what oils are being used in the kitchen, ask to speak with the chef. Avoid fried foods, particularly at fast-food and midpriced restaurants, where most foods are fried in hunks of trans-fatty shortening. At Asian restaurants, choose lower-fat entrées that are steamed or lightly stir-fried in peanut oil. Avoid selections with deep-fried ingredients. Some pizza and pie crusts are made with trans fat. So are some salad dressings. Ask for oil and vinegar, and dress your salad on your own. Beware the coffee cart. Nondairy creamers (liquid and powdered) are common sources of trans fat. So are candy bars, pastries and desserts. Doughnuts? Don’t even think about it.