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Finding fats in foods

If someone wanted to cut unnecessary fat from their diet, you might suggest they try eating soup and a sandwich for lunch, eating more salads and choosing desserts that are low in saturated fat. Sounds like a good plan, right?

Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. The fact is, saturated fats and trans fats are lurking in many foods that seem healthy. Here are a few examples:

Salad dressing

All those crisp, delicious vegetables are great for you—high in vitamins, minerals and fiber. But at 20 grams of fat per 1 tablespoon serving, full-fat dressing can diminish the benefits of eating a salad—especially since many people consume as much as 3 or 4 times the recommended amount. Choose dressing made with extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, or yogurt, and measure your servings with a spoon.


Before you prepare a sandwich, think about which condiments you really need. Instead of loading up on mayonnaise, use it sparingly or skip it altogether and try mustard. Try to avoid prepared chicken or tuna salads—they’re often made with loads of full-fat mayonnaise. Create your own sandwich recipes using tuna or chicken packed in water and adding sliced vegetables, pickle relish or fresh herbs.

Packaged baked goods

Any kind of commercial bakery or snack item is a potential source of trans fat: pies, cakes, cookies, snack chips, even healthy-sounding wheat crackers. Why? Because trans fat helps products stay fresh longer. Check the nutrition information and look for “partially hydrogenated” or “hydrogenated” oil. If you see it, the product has trans fat.

Not in peanut butter

Contrary to popular belief, peanut butter contains only a few grams of saturated fat and a trace amount of hydrogenated oil. It contains no grams of trans fat. Be sure to check the label and avoid brands with added sugar and oils.

So now that you know where bad fats can be found, try to limit your intake of foods that contain them and make healthier choices instead.

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See Articles

WebMD. Healthy eating with diabetes: Your menu plan. Manage your diabetes head2toe [Internet]. New York, New York [Cited 2017 Dec 5]. Available from Accessed April 4, 2019.

Mayo Clinic. Diabetes diet: Create your healthy eating plan [Internet]. Rochester, Minnesota: 2017 March 25 [Cited 2017 Dec 5]. Available from: Accessed April 4, 2019.

Segal R, Robinson L. Choosing Healthy Fats [Internet]. Santa Monica, California: 2017 October [Cited 2017 Dec 5]. Available from Accessed April 4, 2019.

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