Am I cooking with trans fats? Common grocery items contain them

The FDA announced Thursday it was moving to eliminate added trans fats from processed food, and you may be surprised how many foods -- common pantry items -- will be affected. Even though most manufacturers of processed foods containing trans fats have switched to healthier oils, foods with trans fats are out there.

Even if a product claims to have 0 grams of trans fat, it could still contain amounts of partially hydrogenated oils, a substance the FDA has said is not “generally recognized as safe.”

Trans fats are normally associated with foods such as French fries and doughnuts, but partially hydrogenated oil may show up in more foods than you think. They are commonly found in cake mixes, frosting, cookies, crackers, peanut butters, frozen meals, whipped toppings, margarine and shortenings, instant mashed potatoes, taco shells, cocoa mix, microwave popcorn, sauce mixes, pasta mixes, instant noodles, breakfast cereals, corn chips, potato chips and some low-fat ice creams.

Photos: Are you eating trans fats?


Other widely used items that still contain trans fats include Crisco shortening, Pillsbury Dough Boy pizza crust, Betty Crocker chocolate frosting and Chex Mix. For more, view our photo gallery above.

Artificially hydrogenated oil has been linked to clogged arteries and eventually heart attacks. Even very small amounts can be unhealthy, scientists say. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reducing the amount of trans fat in the food supply could prevent an additional 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year.

The FDA went far in eliminating most trans fats from U.S. diets when it forced food processors to list on label fronts the inclusion of the oil. But most health officials feel even the smaller amounts that are out there are dangerous.

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Photos: Are you eating trans fats?

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