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Where Are Trans Fats Hiding?

How do you limit these harmful fats? Print out this list of 10 foods to beware and take it to the supermarket!
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The Top 10 "Trans Fat" Foods: continued...

Tip: Think pretzels, toast, pita bread. Actually, pita bread with a little tomato sauce and low-fat cheese tastes pretty good after a few minutes in the toaster oven.

8. Breakfast food. Breakfast cereal and energy bars are quick-fix, highly processed products that contain trans fats, even those that claim to be "healthy."

  • Kellogg's Cracklin' Oat Bran Cereal has 1.5 grams per 3/4 cup serving.
  • Post Selects Great Grains has 1 gram trans fat per 1/2 cup serving.
  • General Mills Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal has 0.5 grams per 3/4 cup serving.
  • Quaker Chewy Low Fat Granola Bars Chocolate Chunk has 0.5 grams trans fat.

Tip: Whole-wheat toast, bagels, and many cereals don't have much fat. Cereals with nuts do contain fat, but it's healthy fat.

9. Cookies and Candy. Look at the labels; some have higher fat content than others. A chocolate bar with nuts -- or a cookie -- is likely to have more trans fat than gummy bears.

  • Nabisco Chips Ahoy! Real Chocolate Chip Cookies have 1.5 grams per 3 cookies. If you plow through a few handfuls of those, you've put away a good amount of trans fat.

Tip: Gummy bears or jelly beans win, hands down. If you must have chocolate, get dark chocolate -- since it's been shown to have redeeming heart-healthy virtues.

10. Toppings and Dips. Nondairy creamers and flavored coffees, whipped toppings, bean dips, gravy mixes, and salad dressings contain lots of trans fat.

Tip: Use skim milk or powdered nonfat dry milk in coffee. Keep an eye out for fat-free products of all types. As for salad dressings, choose fat-free there, too -- or opt for old-fashioned oil-and-vinegar dressing. Natural oils such as olive oil and canola oil don't contain trans fat.

Can you eliminate trans fats entirely from your diet? Probably not. Even the esteemed National Academy of Sciences stated last year that such a laudable goal is not possible or realistic.

Instead, Moore suggests, "The goal is to have as little trans fat in your diet as possible. You're not eliminating trans fats entirely, but you're certainly cutting back."

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Reviewed on July 15, 2003

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