Chemically Modified Fats

Almost all chemically modified fats are as bad for you as they sound. Hydrogenation, the process that turns liquid oils into solid fats, creates trans fat. For years manufacturers used partially and fully hydrogenated oils to prolong the shelf life and stability of processed foods. According to the American Dietetic Association, foods containing industrially derived trans fat should be minimized and the American Heart Association recommends that we eat no more than 2g of trans fat per day. Now that we know the dangers of trans fat, many manufacturers have reduced or eliminated it. But even some foods that claim to have 0g of trans fat are allowed to contain up to 0.49 grams per serving. If you eat several servings per day of these foods, you can easily exceed the AHA recommended daily limit for trans fat of 2 grams. How can you tell if a product has trans fat? If partially hydrogenated oils are on the ingredient list, it has trans fat.


Another process called interesterification alters the melting point and shelf life of margarines and spreads. While interesterification doesn’t create damaging trans fat, the long-term effects of consuming interesterified fats have yet to be fully evaluated.


To avoid chemically modified fats in your buttery spreads, choose Smart Balance® Buttery Spread, which is made from a natural oil blend that is 0g trans fat naturally. As always, please see the nutrition information of each product for fat and saturated fat content.

More Articles You May Find Interesting

Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Oils

Avoid chemically modified fats . You’ve heard the terms “hydrogenated” and “partially hydrogenated” used to describe oils. You’ve seen them on food labels and heard the warnings. Here’s why you...

The Many Splendors of Omega-3s

Omega-3 fatty acids continue to make big news in the world of health and nutrition—and it turns out their stellar reputation is well deserved. For instance, select population studies and clinical...


It's the healthy-bone mineral. Calcium is the most common mineral in the body and one of the most important. Responsible for healthy bones, calcium is stored almost exclusively in your bones and...