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Is There Trans Fat Lurking in Your Granola Bar?

As I waited in the longest line at the grocery store, which meant standing in the snack aisle, there was plenty of time to check out the well-stocked area full of various bars. Naturally, I picked up some new products that looked interesting and began reading the list of ingredients. While my interest was piqued by a new Quaker bar that has 35 percent of my daily recommended fiber intake and contains healthy omega-3s, what I saw in the list of ingredients caused me to put the box back where I found it. To find out what I saw,

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There was partially hydrogenated oil near the beginning of the ingredient list, as with several of the other products I skimmed over. This means there's trans fat in these seemingly healthy snacks — you know, the stuff that can cause colon cancer, raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and decrease HDL (good) cholesterol levels. It's tricky that products can claim to have zero trans fat, when the inclusion of partially hydrogenated oil indicates that's not the case.

When you're shopping, don't assume that something is healthy simply because it says so on the front of the box. Get the whole story by turning the product over and giving the ingredient list a quick scan. Choose bars that have short ingredient lists with recognizable components. Check your cabinets — is there trans fat lurking in your snack bars?

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