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    Trans
 fat (also called trans fatty acids) is formed when liquid vegetable oils go through a chemical process called hydrogenation, in which hydrogen is added to make the oils more solid.  Hydrogenated vegetable fats are used by food processors because they allow longer shelf-life and give food desirable taste, shape and texture. 

  The majority of trans fat can be found in shortenings, stick (or hard) margarine, cookies, crackers, snack foods, fried foods (including fried fast food), doughnuts, pastries, baked goods, and other processed foods made with or fried in partially hydrogenated oils.   Some trans fat is found naturally in small amounts in various meat and dairy products.  The FDA estimates that the average daily intake of trans fat in the U.S. population is about 5.8 grams or 2.6 percent of calories per day for individuals 20 years of age and older. Don’t make miscellaneous mistakes. Not all trans fat comes from hydrogenated vegetable oil. Meat and milk have small amounts of naturally occurring trans. But “small” becomes substantial (seven grams) when you’re ordering a 16-ounce prime rib.
    A chicken pot pie has six grams of trans (and 11 grams of sat fat) lurking in that innocent-looking pastry dough. And biscuits and gravy start your day with four grams of trans (plus ten grams of saturated).

 Trans fat behaves like saturated fat by raising low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol that increases your risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Trans fat can be found in some of the same foods as saturated fat, such as vegetable shortenings, some margarines, crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, baked goods, and other processed foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Trans fat is made when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil -- a process called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation increases the shelf life and flavor stability of foods containing these fats. Usually the hydrogen atoms at a double bond are positioned on the same side of the carbon chain. However, partial hydrogenation reconfigures some double bonds and the hydrogen atoms end up on different sides of the chain.
Here are some actions you can take every day to keep your consumption of both saturated and trans fats and cholesterol low while consuming a nutritionally adequate diet.
  • Check the Nutrition Facts panel to compare foods because the serving sizes are generally consistent in similar types of foods. Choose foods lower in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. For saturated fat and cholesterol, use the Quick Guide to %DV: 5%DV or less is low and 20%DV or more is high. (Remember, there is no %DV for trans fat.)
  • Choose Alternative Fats. Replace saturated and trans fats in your diet with mono- and polyunsaturated fats. These fats do not raise LDL (or "bad") cholesterol levels and have health benefits when eaten in moderation. Sources of monounsaturated fats include olive and canola oils. Sources of polyunsaturated fats include soybean, corn, sunflower oils, and foods like nuts.
  • Choose vegetable oils (except coconut and palm kernel oils) and soft margarines (liquid, tub, or spray) more often because the combined amount of saturated and trans fats is lower than the amount in solid shortenings, hard margarines, and animal fats, including butter.
  • Consider Fish. Most fish are lower in saturated fat than meat. Some fish, such as mackerel, sardines, and salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids that are being studied to determine if they offer protection against heart disease.
  • Limit foods high in cholesterol such as liver and other organ meats, egg yolks, and full-fat dairy products, like whole milk.
  • Choose foods low in saturated fat such as fat free or 1% dairy products, lean meats, fish, skinless poultry, whole grain foods, and fruit and vegetables.