Some of you already read ingredient labels. That's awesome. That will be your best defense. But some of you maybe are too lazy to do it, or get intimidated searching through all that tiny print. I'd like to make a quick list of common foods that you may or may not be aware are on "the bad list" by containing partially hydrogenated oils.
- Margarine - You already know this one, right? I hope so! This is the worst item on the list.
- Cool Whip - About as bad as margarine. You're much better off with real whipped cream.
- Peanutbutter - Some brands don't have trans fats, such as Laura Scudder and the brands sold in Trader Joe's. But the common ones like Skippy and Jiff are best avoided.
- Non-dairy Coffee Creamer (like Mocha Mix) - If it's trying to be fake dairy, it's likely made of trans fats. This includes the powder stuff.
- Nearly all common cookies and crackers in the snack aisle - Trans fats increase shelf life, therefore they're used in things that need to sit awhile, like pre-packaged foods. Even stuff marked as "healthy" may contain them.
- Cereal - I was hit hard by this one. I love cereal. But the vast majority of cereals in that aisle are tainted with trans fats. Look for cereals made by smaller brands instead of General Mills and Kellogg.
- Cake Mixes - Most boxed cake and muffin mixes contain trans fats for longer shelf life.
- Commercially deep fried foods, especially fast food - Trans fats take high heat very well (they were created by high heat to begin with) so most commercial places that do a lot of deep frying use large vats of partially hydrogenated oils to do the frying. I try to avoid fast food altogether.
- Croissants from cheap sources - Croissants are flaky and yummy, supposedly with buttery goodness. However butter is 3-4 times as expensive as margarine, so places that mass produce croissants (like Costco or any store brand) probably use margarine.
You wouldn't put dirty fuel into your car, would you? That's why you need to be choosy about what you eat. Avoiding the foods on this list is a step in the right direction. But if you can help it at all, read those ingredient labels!