Why They’re A No-No

Trans fats raise your LDL—or “bad”—cholesterol more than other fats. And in one study, people who ate lots of trans fats gained extra jelly belly—the worst place to pick up weight because it contributes to heart disease.

Where Are They?

Certain shortenings and oils usually used to cook prepared foods, baked goods, snacks, fast foods and fried foods. There are two types: naturally occurring trans fats—which appear in tiny amounts in foods like butter—that aren’t that bad for you, and others, made by man, which are. The harmful trans fats (a.k.a. hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils) usually show up as shortenings and cooking oils that scientists have reformulated to keep them from spoiling as quickly in foods and your pantry.

What Do You Do?

Now that researchers have discovered their relationship to heart disease, cities and school systems are banning trans fats from restaurants and cafeterias. Learn to recognize them and slowly cut them out of your diet and the diet of your loved ones.

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