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Trans fat is a type of fat found in foods that increases our risk for heart disease. Many Canadians eat too much trans fat. Here’s what you need to know about what trans fat is and where to find it.
Trans fat is a fat found in foods. Trans fat is made when a liquid vegetable oil is changed into a solid fat. Trans fat is often added to processed foods because it can improve taste and texture and helps the food stay fresh longer.
Trans fat increases your risk of heart disease. This is because:
Trans fat is not needed for a healthy diet. You should aim to eat as little trans fat as possible.
These foods often have trans fat. You will need to read the Nutrition Facts table to know for sure:
Trans fat can also be found naturally in some foods. Meat, milk, and butter naturally contain small amounts of trans fat. The trans fat found naturally in foods is different than manufactured trans fat and does not increase your risk of heart disease.
Food manufacturers must list how much trans fat is in their foods on the Nutrition Facts table. Because of this, many food manufacturers have changed their recipes. A large number of packaged foods are now reduced in trans fat or are trans fat free.
For information on how to read the Nutrition Facts table, watch these videos.
It is difficult to completely stop eating trans fat. The goal is to eat as little trans fat as possible. Remember that just because a food is trans fat free does not mean it is fat free. Many food companies have replaced the trans fat in foods with other types of fat – especially saturated fat. Too much saturated fat can also increase your heart disease risk.
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