Diet-NutritionTrans Fats

What you need to know about trans fats

I noticed there are lots of entries on this blog about trans fatty acids, but no summary of what they are or why they are harmful to your health.

So, a summary of an FDA report is provided here.

Why are trans fats bad?

  • Trans fat, as well as saturated fat, and dietary cholesterol raise low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad cholesterol,” levels, which increase the risk of heart disease.

Where do trans fats come from?

  • Trans fats are made when manufacturers add hydrogen to vegetable oil in order to increase the shelf life and flavor stability of foods.

How do fats differ?

  • Unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) are beneficial when consumed in moderation.
  • Saturated and trans fats are not, because of their effect on cholesterol.
  • It’s best to choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol.

How does one lower the intake of trans fats?

  • Check the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels.
  • Choose food with lower amounts of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol.

Now you know.

10/31/06 09:19 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.