Cholesterol Home > High Cholesterol Foods

Trans Fats
Trans fatty acids, or trans fats, are made when liquid vegetable oil is heated in the presence of hydrogen. This process is known as hydrogenation. The more hydrogenated an oil is, the harder it will be at room temperature and the more trans fat it will contain.
Trans fat is found in:
  • Commercially baked goods
  • Margarines
  • Snack foods (cookies and crackers)
  • Processed foods
  • Fried foods (such as French fries or doughnuts).
Trans fats are even worse for cholesterol levels than saturated fat and cholesterol itself because they raise LDL cholesterol and lower HDL ("good") cholesterol.
When reading food labels, look for the words "hydrogenated" and "partially hydrogenated" in the ingredient list. These foods are loaded with trans fat and saturated fat. Also, look for the words "trans fat" on the food label.


Eating a heart-healthy diet is not only about limiting high cholesterol foods; it's also about limiting foods high in saturated fats and trans fat. Eating smart begins by learning how to read a food label and being aware of different types of fat and cholesterol in foods you eat.
If a healthy-heart diet does not lower cholesterol enough, your healthcare provider may recommend increasing your soluble fiber intake and/or adding other cholesterol-lowering foods to your diet.
(Click Low Cholesterol Diet for more information about a diet that is low in cholesterol and fat.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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