In 2014 the FDA revoked the “GRAS” status of trans fats, essentially making it illegal to use trans fats in food products without permission from the FDA. In light of this news, the formulations of many foods that are currently higher in trans fats will change dramatically. The foods mentioned here are traditionally higher in trans fats.


Food industry began to produce margarines as a replacement for butter because the latter had been declared a health hazard due to its high saturated fat content. “Stick” margarines tend to have higher trans fat content compared to “tub” margarines because trans fats provide the structure (i.e. hardness) needed to keep the stick shape. Tub margarines can be free of trans fats depending on their formulation; they do not need the structural qualities that trans fats bring to stick margarines.

Baked goods, crackers, popcorn, etc.

Donuts, muffins, crackers, popcorn and many other processed “grain-based” foods tend to be high in trans fats. The industry began using margarines or vegetable shortening (i.e. Crisco) in their baked goods to replace butter as described above.

Deep-fried fast foods

Oils used to fry fast foods can be rich in trans fats, increasing the amount in the final product.

Meat and Dairy

Meat and dairy contain naturally-occurring trans fats, which do not appear to have a negative affect our health.