Top 10 Trans-Bad Food List
When I got pregnant with my first baby, it was probably the healthiest I had ever eaten. Truth be told, I ate with gusto; I had a hearty appetite. But I also avoided packaged foods, TV dinners, or anything that had a lot of trans-fat in it. Tip: check your ingredients for the word “partially hydrogenated oil”. If it has that word in the ingredient, it’s got trans-fat even if it’s in small amount.
Why is trans-fat so dangerous? Eating trans fat is associated with heart disease, cancer, diabetes, immune dysfunction, obesity and reproductive problems. Yikes! What others thought as the ultimate fat for enhancing food taste, and extending shelf lives didn’t turn out to be so hot.
The food industry is now looking (or I hope they are) for suitable alternatives to trans fat, because its everywhere. But which foods are the most heavily-laden with trans fat?
1. Spreads. Like Margarine or shortening. You can look for for soft-tub margarine, which is less likely to have trans fat
2. Packaged foods. Cake mixes, Bisquick, and other mixes all have several grams of trans fat per serving. If you want to bake, and avoid trans fat altogether, bake from scratch.
3. Soups. Ramen noodles and soup cups contain very high levels of trans fat. Yes it’s cheap, and for a reason. It’s full of nothing but carbs, sodium and lots of trans fat. Just avoid it altogether, even if you’re trying to save money.
4. Fast Food. Fries, chicken, and other foods are deep-fried in partially hydrogenated oil. Even if the chains use liquid oil, fries are sometimes partially fried in trans fat before they’re shipped to the restaurant. Pancakes and grilled sandwiches also have some trans fat, from margarine slathered on the grill.
I have a fast food once a week habit. I need to make a more concerted effort to avoid them.
5. Frozen Food. Those yummy frozen pies, pot pies, waffles, pizzas, even breaded fish sticks contain trans fat. Even if the label says it’s low-fat, it still has trans fat.
Like I said previously, look for partially hydrogenated oil in the ingredient and avoid it like the plague.
6. Baked Goods. Even worse news — more trans fats are used in commercially baked products than any other foods. Donuts contain shortening in the dough and are cooked in trans fat.
Cookies and cakes (with shortening-based frostings) from supermarket bakeries have plenty of trans fat. Some higher-quality baked goods use butter instead of margarine, so they contain less trans fat, but more saturated fat.
7. Chips and Crackers. Shortening provides crispy texture. Even “reduced fat” brands can still have trans fat. Anything fried (like potato chips and corn chips) or buttery crackers have trans fat.
The alternative: toast, pita bread, pretzels.
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.”
Alternative? Whole-wheat toast, bagels, and cereals.
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.
10. Toppings and Dips. Nondairy creamers and flavored coffees, whipped toppings, bean dips, gravy mixes, and salad dressings contain lots of trans fat. Alternative: Use skim milk or powdered nonfat dry milk in coffee. Choose fat-free salad dressings — or opt for old-fashioned oil-and-vinegar dressing. Natural oils such as olive oil and canola oil don’t contain trans fat.
If you’re already stressing over all the food you have to avoid from this list and want to give up before you even tried, calm down. Here are the minimal rules you should live by: limit your fast food to maybe once a month, cook with olive or canola oil (olive is best), stock up on fruits, vegetables, cereals, avoid as much as possible anything that has the words partially hydrogenated oil in the ingredient list.