This is one of my personal favorites. With the wide acceptance that trans-fats are not healthy and one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease, there has been great pressure placed on the food and restaurant industry to remove trans-fats from our food supply.

Hydrogenation is a process to preserve and prevent unsaturated (liquid) fats from spoiling so they can be used in processed foods to lengthen shelf life. It is also a way to make liquid oils harder and spreadable. During the process they are heated to high temperatures that destroy most of the oil’s beneficial qualities. In addition, once in the body, they are no longer recognized as an unsaturated fat and treated more like a saturated fat. Therefore, they get involved in bodily functions where they should not be, leading to a variety of health problems.

So how can this be? How can a product labeled “0 Trans-fats” contain these oils? Simple, the labeling refers to trans-fats per serving. Per government labeling rules, as long as there is less than one-half gram of trans-fats per serving, it can be rounded down to zero! So, depending upon what the product manufacturer determines a serving to be, this will translate into the labeling.

My advice to you – read your labels very carefully so you won’t be fooled by this misleading labeling claim. Many products that are marketed to be healthy alternatives contain these oils. If you still eat margarine, switch to organic non-salted butter. It is the healthiest choice.

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. He is an expert in the field of Nutrition and Erectile Dysfunction. His office is in Thiensville, WI. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at, call (262) 389-9907 or go to