How to Avoid Partially Hydrogenated Oils

Since new labeling laws went into effect in 2009, many manufacturers have eliminated partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats) from their popular brands. However, the only way to make sure they are not in the foods you choose is to read the list of ingredients on every processed food you buy. The list below is a guide to choices in your supermarket. Scan through the list of ingredients and if it contains the words "partially hydrogenated", put it back on the shelf.

It's much harder when you eat out, because you have no way to tell what's going on in the kitchen. Fast food restaurants and chains use a lot of pre-prepared (read "frozen") foods that they re-heat for you. These are often still made with partially hydrogenated fats. You are safer at restaurants that prepare your food from scratch. Asian restaurants are good bets: they use oils, not margarine or shortening. Most Italian, Greek, Spanish and other Mediterranean restaurants tend to use healthful olive oil.

Foods Often Made With Partially Hydrogenated Oils (Check the list of ingredients!) Cake mixes, biscuit, pancake and cornbread mixes, frostings Cakes, cookies, muffins, pies, donuts Crackers Peanut butter (except fresh-ground) Frozen entrees and meals Frozen bakery products, toaster pastries, waffles, pancakes Most prepared frozen meats and fish (such as fish sticks) French fries Whipped toppings Margarines, shortening Instant mashed potatoes Taco shells Cocoa mix Microwave popcorn

Some Brands of these Foods are Still Made with Partially Hydrogenated Oils (Check the list of ingredients!) Breakfast cereals (see How to Pick a Breakfast Cereal) Frozen pizza, frozen burritos, most frozen snack foods Low-fat ice creams Noodle soup cups Bread Pasta mixes Sauce mixes

Foods that usually do not contain Partially Hydrogenated Oils (Note: This is not a list of "good" or recommended foods – some are full of sugar or white flour. It's just a list of types of foods usually do not contain partially hydrogenated oils.) All fruits and vegetables Dairy products, including cheese and ice cream Meat, poultry, fish Sugar, flour Spices, condiments, pickles, salad dressings and mayonnaise Jams and jellies Beans, grains, nuts and seeds Plain popcorn (not microwave) Pretzels, rice crackers Candies and chocolate Cooking oils Most soups and instant soups (except noodle soup cups) Coffee, tea, soft drinks, juices Frozen fruits & vegetables Canned fruits & vegetables

My detailed explanation of why you should avoid Trans Fats

Checked 8/9/10

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