Trans fats or trans fatty acids are used to make oils more solid and increase shelf life of foods. Created through a chemical process of adding hydrogen atoms to vegetable oils, trans fats can improve the taste of foods, and keep them on the shelf longer, but they are hazardous to your health.
Trans fats raise your bad cholesterol as much as saturated fats do, but they also lower your good cholesterol, which is a recipe for heart disease. A smart goal to set would be to eliminate trans fats in your diet, because no amount of trans fats is good for you. Reading food labels is the most important step to keep you safe. Food manufacturers are allowed to label products trans fat free if they contain less than 0.5 grams per serving. But beware, those trace amounts can add up to unhealthy levels, especially if you are not careful with serving sizes. Be a food label detective and read the ingredient list. If a product contains the words hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, or shortening, it most likely contains trans fats.
Be heart smart and heed warning by limiting or eliminating foods like margarines, fried foods, crackers, cookies, pie crusts, biscuits, coffee creamers, frozen dinners, and certain brands of microwave popcorn. These foods may have a longer shelf life, but they certainly won't lengthen yours.