You may have heard the news: Trans-Fats are going away for good! This is very important as we have knows for years that trans-fats are detrimental to our heart health, but this latest news will be a nail in the coffin for these partially hydrogenated oils.

According to the FDA, trans-fats are not Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) for human consumption. By 2018, manufacturers will have to find alternative fats to use in their products. Many cities across the country have already taken steps throughout the years to ban trans-fats from restaurant use starting with New York and even here in Philadelphia, but this ban will affect the entire country.

So what are trans-fats and why are they so bad anyway? Trans-fats are not found much in nature. They do occur naturally in small amounts in some meats and animal products, but not to the same degree that we use in processed foods. They are used in manufacturing cookies, cakes and other baked goods (vegetable shortening such as Crisco is a source of these processed trans fats) as the fat is prized for it’s ability to keep products shelf stable and provides the flakiness in crusts. Some stick margarines, potato chips and even microwave popcorn can have some trans-fats hidden in them.

The reason why we want to avoid them is because they increase the risk of coronary heart disease. Trans-fats are found to increase our “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and decrease our “good” HDL cholesterol levels. The hope is that we could potentially reduce heart disease and even prevent heart attacks by reducing the amount of trans-fats in our diet.

We still have a few years until this ban takes place. In the mean time, you need to be aware of these trans-fats and take a closer look at the foods you choose. On the package, a product can claim that it has 0g of trans-fat, as long as it has under 0.49g per serving. This can be tricky because you may think it is a good choice, but you have no way of knowing how much trans-fat is truly in there. What you can do is look at the ingredient list. The other name for trans-fats is “partially hydrogenated oils”. If the label states that the product has 0g of trans-fats, but you want to be sure, look in the ingredient list. If it lists partially hydrogenated oil as an ingredient, then you know there is some degree of trans-fat in that product.

Your best bet is to limit your consumption of processed foods in general. If you want some baked goods, bake it yourself and be mindful of the ingredients that you use. If you want popcorn, make it at home – it’s simple!

If you have any other questions about trans-fats or heart health, consult a Family Food Registered Dietitian. We are here to help!




I had a great 1st visit with the nutritionist. I went to get tips on changing by diet, but got much more. I was able to set a physical activity and nutrition goal. The nutritionist was knowledgeable and helpful.

I am so grateful for the stellar support and advice provided by Meghan, the dietitian I'm working with. She is both knowledgeable and kind, and it's a deeply productive journey. Thank you."


Consulting with a Family Food nutritionist is turning out to be helpful in my effort to live healthy. The consultations are a way of having a sense of accountability and I get helpful feedback on my dietary decisions.


Great nutrition experts who inspire you! I am happy with the nutrition specialists at Family Food. They make me excited about nutrition, answer all my questions, and provide excellent recommendations! Thank you!!


Very professional experience. I felt she listened to my needs and adjusted to personalize my nutrition needs.


My initial appointment was helpful - helped me consider new ways of addressing some problem areas for me and helped set attainable, concrete goals.


Insightful and Informative. She was very attentive and helpful. She gave excellent tips on what to do and eat to meet my goal weight.


I feel confident about the changes we made to my goals and look forward to implementing them into my everyday routine. The health adviser was very helpful and didn't make me feel shameful for not meeting all my previous goals.


I highly recommend Family Food. The nutritionist, Erika is helpful and provides great information and positive feedback.


I had an excellent experience with the representative from Family Food. She really read into what I was telling her and offered excellent advice that I am already able to implement after one visit. She also helped to make the best use of the hour long session. Very good time management!


I met with a dietician for the first time and I had an idea of what to expect but I find this to be an invaluable resource because I have already received great ideas of things to use for meal planning and I also received more information of how to read nutrition labels. I am looking forward to my next appointment.


I really enjoyed my first session with Christine. She provided me with a lot of solid information on issues I was not aware of and positive reinforcement for behaviors I have already engaged in. I outlined specific goals I would like to work on with her guidance and she gave me some initial steps to start. I found what she had to say respectful of the space I am in and cognizant of obstacles to making lifestyle and lifelong changes.


I walked in without any specific questions/concerns, and my counseling was well-guided and ended up helping me see specific small changes that I can make to keep me on-track with my nutrition goals. Solutions fit my lifestyle and were not cookie-cutter, which is fantastic. I was able to start making improvements immediately. Thank you!


I am finding the sessions helpful and a good way to talk through improving habits and making better food choices.


I am very happy this program exists. It has been very helpful and informative. My deitition is very nice and intelligent I am happy to have her help and support.


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