Beware of—

      Hydrogenated Fats!

Any food that lists hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated on the label contains trans-fats and should be avoided.  So be sure to read the labels on all packaged foods and avoid those with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil.Hydrogenated fats are well received in commercial circles for their many conveniences. Products made with hydrogenated fats have a high degree of durability, resisting change and deterioration and rancidity even under poor storage conditions and unfavorable temperatures. We are told that hydrogenated shortenings offer a tenfold increase in resistance to rancidity. The baking industry uses hydrogenated fats because it gives a creamy quality to frostings and lightness to bake goods as well as give longer resistance to deterioration.


     It is bad enough that with every mouthful of hydrogenated fat we also get a minute amount of nickel, but we are also treated to other substances as well. When you use margarine or other hydrogenated fats here is what you will be getting for your money (in most cases):

  1. Benzoate of soda
  2. Dyes or other coloring matter
  3. Artificial flavoring
  4. Artificial vitamins
  5. Saturated fat/hydrogenated
  6. fat
  7. Possibly small amounts
  8. of pulverized nickel
  9. oils
  1. Fragmented aluminum


Dietary trans-fatty acids raise LDL cholesterol and result in reductions of HDL cholesterol.  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1994 April, 59:861.

Hydrogenated fats increase the risk of coronary heart disease.  Science, 1994, April 22, 264:5 3 2.

Intake of margarine ─ the major source of trans-fatty acids ─ is significantly associated with risk of heart disease.  Circulation, 1994 January, 89:94 0.

Below is a list of foods that are usually always

made with partially hydrogenated 

oils :

Cake mixes
Biscuit and pancake mixes
Peanut butter (except freshly ground)
Frozen entrees
Frozen bakery products
Most prepared frozen meats and fish
French fires
Whipped toppings
Margarines, shortening
Instant mashed potatoes
Taco shells
Microwave popcorn
Corn chips, potato chips
Breakfast cereals
Most ice creams

       The only way to eliminate partially hydrogenated fats from your diet is to read all labels. Most of the information that is out about trans-fats has been know for some time, but the commercial industry and food processors have succeeded in keeping this issue quiet and away from much of the public. If you value your health and the health of your loved ones stay away from all hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats.


  1. John A. McDougall, M.D., The McDougall Plan, (New Century Publishers, Inc., 1983.
  2. Udo Eramus, Fats and Oils, Vancouver, Canada: Alive Books, 1986.
  3. Breatrice Trum Hunter, Consumer Beware!, A Touchstone Book, Simon & Schuster Publisher, 1971
  4. K.H. Cooper, Controlling Cholesterol, New York, Bantom Books, 1988.
  5. J.C. Alexander, Dietary Fats and Cancer, New York, Alan R. Liss, Inc., 1986.
  6. D.J.A. Jenkins, Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, Philadelphia, Lea and Febiger, 1988.
Katy Chamberlin