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Interactive Nutrition Facts Label

Trans Fat

Trans fat is an unsaturated fat.Trans fat occurs naturally in some animal foods but is not essential in the diet. Partially hydrogenated oils contain artificial trans fats and were the major source of trans fats in foods. Trans fat has detrimental health effects and partially hydrogenated oils are no longer added to foods.

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.

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. As of 2018, most uses of partially hydrogenated oils have been phased out. 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.

  • 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.
  • As of June 2018, partially hydrogenated oils, the major source of artificial trans fat in the food supply, are no longer Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). Therefore, partially hydrogenated oils are no longer added to foods.

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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