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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diet and Nutrition > Trans Fats

Trans Fats

Alternate Names : Hydrogenated Fats, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

Overview & Description | Functions and Sources

Trans fats are formed by the partial hydrogenation of vegetable oil. This process is used to make vegetable oil more solid. An example of this is stick margarine, which is made from liquid vegetable oil.


The American Heart Association recommends the following to limit the intake of trans fats:

  • Choose liquid or soft tub margarines. Use them in moderation. In general, the softer the margarine, the less trans fat it contains. Margarines made without trans fat are now available.
  • Use naturally occurring, unhydrogenated oil such as canola or olive oil when possible.
  • Look for processed foods made with unhydrogenated oil, rather than hydrogenated or saturated fat.
  • Use margarine as a substitute for butter. Choose soft margarines (liquid or tub varieties) over harder, stick forms. Shop for margarine with no more than 2 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon and with liquid vegetable oil as the first ingredient.
  • Limit intake of french fries, doughnuts, cookies, crackers, and other foods that are high in trans fatty acids.


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    Trans Fats: Functions and Sources

    Author: Susan Harrow Rago, RD, MS
    Reviewer: Melissa Sanders, PharmD
    Date Reviewed: 06/11/01

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