Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said trans fat is a potent cause of heart disease, and the federal government and the American Heart Association urge consumers to avoid foods containing it.
The FDA required trans fat to be listed on food labels and most large manufacturers removed partially hydrogenated oil -- the source of artificial trans fat -- from their products, possibly leaving many consumers thinking the problem has been solved.
However, several large companies continue to market products containing unhealthy and unnecessary amounts of trans fat, including Marie Callender's Lattice Apple Pie, which contains 5 grams of trans fat per serving, Pop Secret microwave popcorn at 4 or 5 grams of trans fat per serving, and White Castle's doughnuts with 8 or 9 grams of trans fat per serving.
The American Heart Association recommends people limit their trans fat intake to no more than 2 grams per day. Since small amounts of trans fat occur naturally in beef and dairy products, that leaves very little, if any, room for artificial trans fat from partially hydrogenated oil, Jacobson said.