Trans fat is a by-product of hydrogenation, a chemical process that turns vegetable oils into margarine or other solid fats. For decades, food manufacturers have used hydrogenated oils to change the consistency of cookies, crackers, and other foods, or to prevent the oils from becoming rancid. In recent years, however, scientists have found that the trans fat in hydrogenated oils contributes heavily to stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular risks.
Your Daily Allowance
There is no official Recommended Dietary Allowance for trans fat, but most authorities advise getting none. Hence, Diet Power sets everyone's Personal Daily Allowance (PDA) at zero.
There is no Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for trans fat.
Revising Your Allowance
You can change your Personal Daily Allowance (PDA) to whatever your doctor advises. See Personal Daily Allowances, Editing Your.
Color Coding of This Nutrient
The trans-fat bar in your personal Nutrient History is:
blue for "good"
if you've logged no trans fat
red for "bad"
if you've logged 0.5 grams or more per day of trans fat
yellow for "caution" if you've logged some trans fat, but less than 0.5 grams per day
In the nutrient profile of a food or recipe, the trans-fat bar is:
green for "good"
if getting your Personal Daily Allowance (PDA) of calories from this item
would give you no trans fat
magenta for "bad"
if getting your PDA of calories from the item would give you 0.5 grams
or more of trans fat
for "neutral" if getting your PDA of calories from the item
would give you some trans fat, but less than 0.5 grams
missing if the amount of trans fat is (when the word Trans is grayed out) unknown.
How Complete Are Diet Power's Trans-Fat Readings?
For the 8500 generic items in the Food Dictionary: terribly incomplete. About 97 percent list their trans-fat content as "unknown."
For the 2500 chain-restaurant items: totally incomplete. All list trans fat as "unknown."
For all 11,000 items combined: terribly incomplete. About 98 percent list trans fat as "unknown."
(The percentage of unknowns will be higher, of course, if most of the foods that you've added to the dictionary lack trans-fat figures.)
To see whether a particular food has a trans-fat reading, open the Food Dictionary and check the food's nutrient profile. If you find a question mark beside "Fat, trans," it means the amount is unknown. (To see all foods with unknown trans-fat readings, click the dictionary's PowerFoods tab and sort the foods by trans-fat power; then scroll toward the bottom of the list until you see foods with question marks in the "Power Rating" column.)
Trans Fats on Food Labels
Since January 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has required most food labels to list trans fat, in grams.
Food labels do not list a Daily Value (DV) for trans fat, since none has been defined.
For more on label regulations, see Labels, Food.
Did you upgrade to Diet Power 4.4 from an earlier version?
If so, any foods that you manually added to the old version's dictionary will report their trans-fat content as zero, when in fact it is unknown. Reason: older versions of Diet Power didn't cover trans fat, and consequently had no place to enter a food's trans-fat content. Currently, the only way to fix the problem is to open each user-added food from your pre-4.4 period and change its trans-fat value from 0 to blank. (Better yet, enter the actual trans-fat value from the label.)
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Last Modified: 7/25/07