Packaged Food Products That Still Contain Trans Fats

In November, the Food and Drug Administration made a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils — one of the primary sources of trans fats — are no longer “generally recognized as safe.” If this is finalized, partially hydrogenated oils will be categorized as food additives requiring approval to be used in food.

Trans fats have been used since the mid-1900s to improve the flavor, texture and shelf life of many processed foods. Though they naturally occur in meat and dairy, their use in processed foods has been more of a concern because of their significantly larger role in the American diet.

This type of fat is even more harmful to cardiovascular health than saturated fat. It increases levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and lowers levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. Research from the Harvard School of Public Health Department of Nutrition estimates that eliminating trans fats from the U.S. food supply could prevent up to 1-in-5 heart attacks and related deaths.

Today, trans fats can be found in fast food and a wide range of processed food products, such as cookies, cake mixes, piecrusts, frozen pizza, microwave popcorn and chips. And while the FDA declared in 2006 that trans fats must be included in the Nutrition Facts label of packaged food, manufacturers can claim a product contains 0 grams of trans fat if there’s 0.5 grams or less per serving. This can be deceptive for obvious reasons: How many times have you eaten more than the “serving size?” (In Canada, manufacturers can only claim 0 grams of trans fats for products containing less than 0.2 grams.)

Many manufacturers adjusted their formulas in 2006 out of fear of consumer backlash since they had to list trans fats on packaging, but some brands have stubbornly refused to eliminate the harmful ingredient. Here are some of the many products that still contain trans fat:


1.5 grams per serving

Pop Secret Butter

5 grams per serving (about a third of the bag)

Pop Secret Kettle Corn

5 grams per serving

Jolly Time Blast O Butter Popcorn

4 grams per serving

Pillsbury Shape Sugar Cookies

2.5 g trans fat per serving (2 cookies)

Turkey Hill Party Cake Ice Cream

1 gram per ½ cup serving

Sara Lee Classic New York Style Cheesecake

3 grams per serving

Marie Callender’s Peanut Butter Crème Pie

4 grams per serving

Marie Callender’s Chocolate Satin Pie

4 grams per serving

Marie Callender’s Lattice Apple Pie

3 grams per serving

Marie Callender’s Peach Cobbler

3.5 grams per serving

Popeye’s Breakfast Hashbrowns

It’s not a “packaged food,” but we had to include it because how in the world did they manage to get 10 GRAMS of trans fat per serving in these things? Sheesh.

Betty Crocker Helper Complete Meals Chicken & Buttermilk Biscuits

3 grams per serving

Betty Crocker Pie Crust Mix

2.5 grams per serving

Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Fudge Icing

1.5 grams per serving

Gardetto’s Special Request Roasted Garlic Rye Chips

3 grams per serving

Walmart’s Great Value Stick Margarine

3 grams per serving

Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls with Icing

2 grams per serving (1 roll with icing)

Land O Lakes Margarine Sticks

3 grams per serving (1 tablespoon)