Products Champion 0 Grams Of Trans Fat... But What Does It Really Mean?

Its all over the packaging on the cookies and chips we crave.  Product after product proclaiming to have no trans fat. But what does that mean, and is trans fat harmful?

We took some products and our questions to Mother Francis Dietitian Tami Lawrence.

"The trans fats have been determined along with the saturated fats to raise cholesterol levels," Tami said. "Particularly the bad cholesterol."

Trans fat has been known to clog arteries and increase blood levels. Because of the potential damage to your heart, the Food and Drug Administration has stepped in. Next year the FDA will require manufactures to list trans fat on all nutrition labels. Most companies seem to have a jump on the new rule.

"When you look at a label, there's the total fat grams and then it is broken down into the saturated fats and the unsaturated fats."

Tami said no trans fat does not automatically mean healthy. "Something can still have quite a bit of saturated fat," she said.

Tami said the most important thing to watch out for is saturated fat because it can lead to heart problems too. An example was a bag of potato chips we purchased and showed to Tami.

"They still have saturated fat," she said reading the label, "and then the total fat is pretty high, and then the calories really add up quickly."

Tami said when shopping, read the label. High saturated fat, high calories and high carbs in small serving sizes are unsafe. Even if the package said trans fat free.

For more information on trans fat as well as other new dietary guidelines, just go to the homepage and click on the "Know More on 7" icon on the right side of the page.

There you will find the link "New Dietary Guidelines."

Maya Golden reporting,