How to Reduce Trans Fat in Your Diet

Eliminating all trans fat from your diet is not recommended. The reason being you would have to include the elimination of dairy products and meats that naturally contain trans fatty acids. In turn, this may cause some nutrient deficiencies, thus creating additional health risks.

Essentially, lowering your intake of trans fat is one key to a healthy heart. French fries are one of the highest sources of trans fat, so trade in that fast food choice. Start reading the Nutrition Facts panel to help you choose foods lower in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. Do a comparison of similar foods and choose the food with the lower combined saturated and trans fats and the lower amount of cholesterol.

Here are some actions you can take every day to keep your consumption of both saturated and trans fats and cholesterol low while consuming a nutritionally adequate diet.

  • Check the Nutrition Facts panel to compare foods because the serving sizes are generally consistent in similar types of foods. Choose foods lower in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol.
  • Replace saturated and trans fats in your diet with mono- and polyunsaturated fats. These fats do not raise LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol levels and have health benefits when eaten in moderation. Sources of monounsaturated fats include olive and canola oils. Sources of polyunsaturated fats include soybean, corn, sunflower oils, and foods like nuts.
  • Choose vegetable oils (except coconut and palm kernel oils) and soft margarine (liquid, tub, or spray) more often because the combined amount of saturated and trans fats is lower than the amount in solid shortenings, hard margarine, and animal fats, including butter.
  • Consider Fish. Most fish are lower in saturated fat than meat. Some fish, such as mackerel, sardines, and salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids that are being studied to determine if they offer protection against heart disease.
  • Limit foods high in cholesterol such as liver and other organ meats, egg yolks, and full-fat dairy products, like whole milk.
  • Choose foods low in saturated fat such as fat free or 1% dairy products, lean meats, fish, skinless poultry, whole grain foods, and fruit and vegetables.

Also, some dietary supplements contain ingredients that also include partially hydrogenated vegetable oil or trans fat as well as saturated fat and cholesterol.

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