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Trans Fat and Heart Disease

Trans Fat and Heart Disease

The American Heart Association dietary guidelines recommend limiting trans fat, along with saturated fat, in your diet. Trans fat is found in many processed foods, such as cookies, crackers, snack foods, and other processed foods made with shortening, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, or hydrogenated vegetable oils, including some margarines and salad dressings.

Food producers list the amount of trans fat on nutrition labels.

Trans fat, like saturated fat, raises the levels of LDL ("bad" or low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol in the blood and increases the risk of developing coronary artery disease . Trans fat also lowers HDL ("good" or high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol in the blood. Doctors recommend limiting trans fat in the diet as much as possible.

Trans fat also occurs naturally in foods such as meat and milk. By choosing fat-free or 1% dairy products, lean meats, fish, and skinless poultry, you can easily stay within the recommended limit for both trans and saturated fat combined.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer John M. Miller, MD - Electrophysiology
Last Revised April 4, 2011

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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