Major Food Sources of Trans Fat for American Adults
The Trans Fat List
Following are the top 10 categories of foods that made the
"most unwanted list." Some formerly bad characters have
cleaned up their act. Values listed for trans fats are per
serving as labeled by the product's manufacturer.
1. Spreads. Margarine continues to be a
major culprit. Stick margarine is worse than soft margarine.
- Blue Bonnet stick margarine -- 1.5 grams
- Fleischmann's stick margarine -- 2 grams
- Land O'Lakes stick margarine --2.5 grams
- Smart Balance tub margarine -- 0
- Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter -- 0
Tip: Dip bread in flavored olive oil instead of
slathering it with butter.
2. Packaged foods. Enter the aisles of
quick mixes as though you're going into a dangerous
neighborhood. Good news for parents, though: Kraft has
reformulated most of its products, and Easy Mac now has no
- Bisquick Lite -- 0
- Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines, and Pillsbury cake mixes --
from 0.5 to 1.5 grams
- Duncan Hines Classic Vanilla Frosting -- 1.5 grams
- Betty Crocker Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting -- 1.5 grams
- Krusteaz Key Lime Bars -- 1 gram
- Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownies -- 1 gram
- Keebler Ready Crust, Graham -- 2 grams
- Lipton Pasta Sides -- 0 grams
- Kraft Easy Mac -- 0 grams
- Old El Paso Taco Shells -- 2.5 grams
Tip: Moore suggests baking cakes from scratch and
making frosting with fat-free cream cheese drizzled with
melted chocolate. Or replace frosting with jelly or powdered
3. Soups. Ramen noodles, once a source of
trans fats, now have none. Many soups and even soup cups also
have none. Check labels nevertheless. Bear Creek Cheddar
Broccoli soup mix has 2 grams.
Tip: The words "lite" and "reduced fat" do not
necessarily indicate an absence of trans fats.
4. Fast food. Fast-food and other
restaurants are among the major users of partially
hydrogenated oils, but they're not required to provide
nutrition labels. Still, they're under pressure from public
interest groups to reduce or eliminate trans fats. Many
McDonald's breakfast items are loaded. A sausage biscuit has 5
grams of trans fats, a deluxe warm cinnamon roll has 6, and a
deluxe breakfast has 11.
If your kid eats four chicken tenders, a small order of
fries, and a Hershey's sundae pie at Burger King, that's 6
grams of trans fats.
Tip: Before ordering, ask if trans fats were used in
preparing the food.
5. Frozen food. This is a category where
convenience often comes with a risk of clogged arteries.
- Sara Lee Butter Streusel Coffee Cake -- 0.5 grams
- Pepperidge Farm Three-Layer Cake-Chocolate Fudge -- 3.5
- Kid Cuisine All American Fried Chicken -- 1.5 grams
- Stouffer's Lasagna With Meat and Sauce -- 0.5 grams
- Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper mixes -- from 0 to 0.5
- Betty Crocker Complete Meals Chicken and Buttermilk
Biscuits -- 2.5 grams
- DiGiorno Microwave Rising Crust Pizza -- 1.5 grams
- Tombstone Original Pizza -- 0
- Freschetta Four-Cheese Pizza -- 0.5 grams
- Gorton's fish products -- 0
- Green Giant Pasta, Broccoli and Alfredo Sauce -- 0.5
Tip: Moore suggests making your own pizza crust, as
that's where the trans fats often lurk in prepared pizzas.
"It's easy. Mix some yeast, flour, salt, and liquid, and give
it time to rise. Or use pita bread as a pizza platform."
6. Baked goods. Icings, fillings, and
doughnut frying oils are among the most difficult to make
without trans fats. What about your favorite bakery for
ordering specialty birthday cakes? Ask them what kinds of oils
and shortening they use in their cakes and frostings.
- Betty Crocker Warm Delights, Cinnamon -- 2 grams
- Pillsbury Ready To Bake Sugar Cookies -- 1.5 grams
- Nestle Toll House refrigerated dough -- 0 grams
Tip: Try baking at home, even if you don't know how.
Moore says there are many excellent cookbooks that will help
you with basic cooking skills.
7. Chips and crackers. Frito-Lay took the
lead and reformulated its line of chips to eliminate trans
fats long before the labeling requirement went into effect.
Others followed suit.
- Fritos -- 0 grams
- Lay's Potato Chips -- 0 grams
- Tostitos -- 0 grams
- Nabisco Ritz -- 0 grams
- Nabisco Wheat Thins -- 0 grams
- Nabisco Triscuit -- 0 grams
- Keebler Club -- 0 grams
- Cheese Nips -- 0 grams
- Pepperidge Farm Goldfish -- 0 grams
Tip: Whole Foods stores do not carry products
containing trans fats. Urge your grocery store to do the same.
8. Breakfast food. The cereal and
breakfast bar aisle isn't without its perils, but it's far
safer than it used to be.
- Cap'n Crunch -- 0 grams
- Kellogg's Corn Flakes -- 0 grams
- Total Raisin Bran -- 0 grams
- Kellogg Pop-Tarts -- 0 grams
- Quaker Breakfast Bites -- 0.5 grams
- Trix Milk 'n Cereal Bars -- 1 gram
Tip: Even though the deadline for new labels was Jan.
1, 2006, manufacturers have been allowed to use up existing
inventories so some products do not yet carry the new labels.
9. Cookies and candy. Cookies and candies
have been reformulated as well. Nabisco Chips Ahoy! Real
Chocolate Chip Cookies used to have 1.5 grams of trans fats in
a serving of three cookies. Now the value is listed as none,
although the product does contain partially hydrogenated oils.
- Oreo cookies -- 0 grams
- Lil' Debbie Fudge Brownies -- 0.5 grams
- Nestle candies -- 0 grams
Tip: Cookies and candy are nothing but empty calories.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with an apple, banana, or pear.
10. Toppings and dips. This category
includes nondairy creamers, flavored coffees, whipped
toppings, bean dips, gravy mixes, and salad dressings. Most
salad dressings today are trans fat-free, and you'll find a
number of the other products in this category without trans
fats as well.
- Coffee-Mate -- 0 grams
- General Foods International Flavored Coffees -- 0 grams
- Cool Whip -- 0 grams
- Old El Paso Bean Dip -- 0 grams
Tip: Remember to read labels so you can avoid saturated
fats, too. And take your reading glasses to the supermarket.
You'll need them to read many products' ingredients lists.
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