As part of a heart-healthy diet, avoid trans fat and limit 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 for coronary artery disease. Trans fat also lowers HDL ("good" or high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol in the blood. Doctors recommend avoiding 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 Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology Specialist Medical Reviewer Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology Last Revised February 13, 2013