Which Foods Will The Trans Fat Ban Affect?

Which Foods Will The Trans Fat Ban Affect?
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Which Foods Will The Trans Fat Ban Affect?

Since trans fats have been shown to raise cholesterol and majorly contribute to heart disease, the FDA claims that banning the insidious fat could prevent 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths. Read on to find out which foods this ban will affect the most.

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Desserts tend to rely on trans fats to transform an oily consistency into a lighter one. The hydrogenated oils stay in sweets like doughnuts and cakes and don't ooze out, according to Kantha Shelke, a food scientist at Corvus Blue LLC and Institute of Food Technologists spokesperson.

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Fried Food

Fried food isn't exactly a healthy choice, but unfortunately even if items are fried in vegetable oil, it can still be hydrogenated. As a general rule, eat fried foods very sparingly because they're not very healthy with or without trans fats.

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Movie Theater And Microwave Popcorn

Many varieties of movie theater and microwave popcorn contain trans fats. Removing trans fats from these types of popcorn products could affect the flavor, so real butter may be used to maintain the taste.

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Pie And Pie Crust

Take a look around the grocery store to see how many baked products contain trans fats. If "hydrogenated oils" appears as a listed ingredient, steer clear! At least big chains are doing their best to remove trans fats from their own pies.

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Coffee Creamers

It's a pretty safe bet that if a product contains cream, it can also have trans fats, according to Kristin Kirkpatrick, wellness manager and registered dietician at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Kirkpatrick believes companies will try to replace trans fat in creamers with soy bean oil or vegetable oil.

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Fast Food

Fast food restaurants don't have the best reputation for serving especially nutritional meals. Many chains have reduced the use of trans fat in their foods, but make sure to check the fat content of menu items.

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Frozen Pizza

Look out for frozen products with long lists of ingredients. Many frozen foods contain trans fats, which may have to be replaced with vegetable oils or alternative additives.

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Initially margarine was advertised as a healthy alternative to butter because it used vegetable oil instead of dairy or animal products. However, in order for margarine to keep its shape —especially margarine sticks—many brands use hydrogenated oils, which contain trans fat, saturated fat and sometimes both!

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Crackers that contained trans fats may have to use soy bean oil or canola oil as substitutes.

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Cookies are also cursed with trans fats. Certain brands have done their best to avoid using trans fats in their products, but many still contain partially hydrogenated oils.

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Canned Frosting

Tasty store-bought frostings can contain a surprising amount of trans fat, which they will probably replace with lard or vegetable oils once the ban takes effect.

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Beef Jerky

Snacks like beef jerky can contain trans fat. Unfortunately, beef can contain natural amounts of trans fat, but processed meats, like beef jerky, have particularly high levels.

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Refrigerated Dough-Based Products

According to Kirkpatrick, items like ready-to-bake cinnamon rolls and biscuits will have to utilize canola oil, which can also have some nutritional benefits.

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Shortening is a fat that remains solid at room temperature, but helps to bake pastries. Certain types of shortening can contain partially hydrogenated oil. It may be hard to tell if the shortening you purchase has trans fat from the nutrition label, but be mindful of potential trace amounts because they can add up if you bake all the time.

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Packaged Pudding

Don't be fooled by the labels on puddings that boast that they're made with nonfat milk. They can still contain trans fat. Look out for hydrogenated oils listed in the ingredients.

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Cake Mixes

Even if cake mixes boast that they are trans fat-free, keep an eye out for the keyword "shortening," which can have small amounts.

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Ice Cream

Trans fat sneaks into ice cream practically undetected. Trans fat can occur naturally in certain full fat dairy products. Look out for the words "partially hydrogenated oils" on the ingredient list and indulge sparingly.

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Frozen Dinners

Trans fat is likely to lurk in frozen dinners because they help to stabilize them. Read the labels carefully in the frozen food section.

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Pancake And Waffle Mix

Pancake and waffle mixes can contain partially hydrogenated oils. Be on the look out when examining the ingredients on the nutrition label.

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Thanks to a ruling by the FDA, it looks like trans fats are on the out.

Trans fats occur when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil. The cholesterol-raising fat appears in many processed foods because it creates a lasting shelf life, but the FDA has decided that it poses too much of a health risk.

Check out the slideshow above to learn which foods will be affected by the trans fat ban.

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