Talking about Trans Fat: what you need to know

Trans Fat at-a-Glance

There are two sources of trans fat, also known as trans fatty acids:

As a consumer, the most important thing to know about trans fat is that it raises low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol. An elevated LDL blood cholesterol level increases your risk of developing heart disease. Heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women in the U.S.

Fats in Your Diet

Limiting trans fats is one component of a healthful diet that also includes limiting saturated fat and dietary cholesterol.

Dietary fats are found in both plant and animal foods. Fat is a major source of energy for the body and aids in the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K. Fat is also important for proper growth, development and maintenance of good health.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans notes that adults should consume no more than approximately one third of their calories from fat to reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases (such as heart disease), while providing for adequate intake of essential nutrients.

Infants and toddlers up to two years of age have the highest energy needs per unit of body weight of any age group. Fats are an important source of calories and nutrients for these youngsters.

As a food ingredient, fat provides flavor, consistency and stability – and helps you feel full.

Where’s the Trans Fat?

Trans fat can be found in many of the same foods as saturated fat. These can include:

Choose Your Fats Wisely

Use the Nutrition Facts Label as your tool for reducing trans fat, saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet – which may help decrease your risk of developing heart disease!

Source: FDA

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