Because partially hydrogenated oil lasts longer without going rancid, many restaurants deep-fry with it. Most fast food chains have made the switch to non-hydrogenated oil, but several, like Popeye’s, still haven’t (an order of Popeye’s hash browns contains a whopping 10 grams). As for what’s in the fry-o-lator at your local bar and grill, there’s really no way to know, so it’s best to avoid the fried stuff altogether.
The light, flaky consistency is in pie crusts in many cases due to trans fats.
Margarine is basically vegetable oil that’s been converted into a solid, and the oil needs to be hydrogenated in order to make that happen. For example, Land O’Lakes margarine contains 2.5 grams of trans fat per tablespoon. Better to just stick with butter.
Crisco may claim via the nutrition label that it’s trans fat-free, but there’s still hydrogenated oil in the ingredients list.
Betty Crocker’s frosting can contain up to two grams of trans fats.
Pancake and waffle mixes depend on trans fats for that light texture, and Bisquick still contains 1.5 grams per serving.
Even though creamers claim via the nutrition label that they contain zero grams of trans fat, they’re just rounding down. Partially hydrogenated oil is usually pretty high up in the ingredient list, and adding some to your coffee every morning can certainly add up.
Want to know a secret? The “butter” flavor in Pop Secret (and several other brands of popcorn) is just oil with artificial flavoring — and partially hydrogenated oil at that. Pop Secret’s butter flavor contains 15 grams of trans fats per bag.
Trans fats occur naturally in animal-derived fat. It’s present in rather small quantities though, nowhere near as much as in processed foods.
In order to keep cookies and cakes shelf-stable for so long, the fat used can’t go rancid, as butter does. Cheaper and more shelf-stable partially hydrogenated oils are used instead.
Most fast food chains have removed trans fats from their biscuits, but the ones you buy in the supermarket (including frozen biscuit breakfast sandwiches) still contain trans fats: Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches contain up to three grams, as do Pillsbury Grands! Homestyle Buttermilk Biscuits.
Most of Dairy Queen’s Blizzards and shakes contain between 0.5 and 1.5 grams of trans fats, as do the shakes at all the other chains (Wendy’s vanilla frosty waffle cone contains six grams, more than any other item on the menu).
If it’s a shelf-stable product, it most likely contains trans fats. Even Saltines are no exception. If it contains anything hydrogenated, it contains trans fats.