Interactive Nutrition Facts Label

Interactive Nutrition Facts Label

The Nutrition Facts label found on packaged foods and beverages is your daily tool for making informed food choices that contribute to healthy lifelong eating habits.

containers of food

Trans Fat

Trans fat is an unsaturated fat, but it is structurally different than unsaturated fat that occurs naturally in plant foods. Trans fat has detrimental health effects and is not essential in the diet.

There are two sources of trans fat:

  • Trans fat formed naturally is produced in the stomach of ruminant animals (such as cattle and sheep).
  • Trans fat formed artificially during food processing is created during a manufacturing process called "partial hydrogenation" in which hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oil to make it more solid, and therefore more resistant to becoming spoiled or rancid. The process generally does not make the oil completely solid, resulting in "partially" hydrogenated oils. Note: most uses of partially hydrogenated oils, the major source of artificial trans fat in the U.S. food supply, have been phased out as of 2018.

Trans fat formed naturally is found in small amounts in some animal products, such as dairy products, beef, and lamb.

Trans fat formed artificially during food processing is found in partially hydrogenated oils, which were used in a variety of foods, such as baked goods, coffee creamer, ready-to use frostings, snack foods, and stick margarine. As of 2018, most uses of partially hydrogenated oils have been phased out. Additionally, refined vegetable oils may contain a small amount of trans fat as an unintentional byproduct of their manufacturing process.

Partially hydrogenated oils were used by food manufacturers to improve the texture, shelf life, and flavor stability of foods. Partially hydrogenated oils should not be confused with "fully hydrogenated oils," which are solid fats that contain very low levels of trans fat.

  • According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, there is evidence that diets higher in trans fat are associated with increased blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol—which, in turn, are associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the U.S.
  • On June 16, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration took action that significantly reduced the use of partially hydrogenated oils, which were the major source of artificial trans fats in the food supply. This action is expected to reduce cardiovascular disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks each year in the U.S.

Use the Nutrition Facts label as a tool for monitoring consumption of trans fat. The Nutrition Facts label on food and beverage packages shows the amount in grams (g) of trans fat per serving of the food.

Trans fat will not be completely gone from foods because it occurs naturally in small amounts in some animal products and is present at very low levels in refined vegetable oils.

Trans fat has no % Daily Value (%DV), so use the number of grams (g) to compare and choose foods.
Nutrition Facts
Serving size 1 1/2 cup (208g)
Amount Per Serving
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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