Are you aware of the latest “bad word” in the dietary dictionary? Trans fat has been added to the list of ingredients to avoid, along with saturated fat and cholesterol. In addition to increasing the risk of heart disease, new research suggests trans fats may be related to increased infertility. Findings indicate that women who consume a mere 2 percent of total calories from trans fats have a doubled risk of ovulation-related infertility.
Also beware of increasingly popular trans fat alternatives like interesterified fats, which may raise blood sugar and lower good HDL cholesterol. Whether you’re pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or simply care about your health and the health of your loved ones, check nutrition labels for trans fatty acids and hydrogenated oils, and look for “fully hydrogenated oil” on products that claim to be “trans-fat-free.”
Of course, certain fats, when eaten in moderation, are important for proper growth and development. Here are some of the more common foods that often contain “bad” fats, along with healthier alternatives. For more information on good and bad fats, see “Cholesterol: Know the Facts” on page 24 of this issue.
Potential Food Sources of Trans Fats
Solid vegetable shortening
Crackers and chips
Cookies, cakes and pies
Good Sources of Healthy Fats
Olive and canola oils
Soybean, corn and sunflower oils
Nuts and seeds
Lean meats (skinless)