Trans fats are naturally found in some foods, usually in very small amounts. Trans fats can also be created when liquid vegetable oils are changed into solid or semi-solid margarines, shortenings or other hard fats. This food processing technique is called hydrogenation.
Hydrogenated margarines and shortenings are sold on their own in tubs or blocks. These are popular with food manufacturers because trans fats have a long shelf life.
Hydrogenated margarines and shortenings with trans fats are used in a wide variety of foods, including French fries, microwave popcorn, baked goods (for example, muffins, cakes, pastries and bagels), crackers, cookies, soup noodles, snack foods, and flavoured coffee creamers.
Avoid trans fats, if possible.
Health Canada’s Dietary Fat: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly offers practical solutions for cutting back on trans fats at home, in the grocery store and when you eat on the run.