PCC is artificial trans-fat free
In the interest of providing the healthiest food possible to consumers, PCC does not sell products containing artificial trans-fats.
What is trans-fat?
Trans-fats (also known as trans-fatty acids) are primarily man-made fats created when vegetable oils undergo a process called hydrogenation. Hydrogen gas is bubbled through the oil, causing the oil molecules to become saturated artificially with hydrogen and therefore resistant to oxidation, which causes rancidity. The process converts unsaturated, less stable fatty acids into a shelf stable fat.
Trans-fats do not contribute any nutritional value to the diet and have been linked to several serious health risks. Research from the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academies of Science, has declared that trans-fats are associated directly with heart disease. Trans-fats are linked to increased levels of "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and reduced "good" cholesterol (HDL), increased insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, and gallstones.
Since January 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has required food manufacturers to list the amount of trans-fats on nutrition labels.
While some trans-fats occur naturally in some foods, such as butter and some meats, consumers should concern themselves with trying to avoid the artificial trans-fats added to many foods that prolong its natural shelf life.
Be aware that The FDA does not require reporting trans-fat on product labels if the amount is 0.5 grams or less per serving. Therefore, some foods promoted as "trans-fat free" may contain some naturally occurring or artificially added trans-fat.
Manufacturers are not required to recall and re-label products immediately if ingredients change. Even foods labeled "low" or "reduced" fat still can contain a significant amount of trans-fats.
What you can do
Read the Nutrition Facts and ingredient list on the foods you buy. Remember that foods containing 0.5 grams or less of trans-fat per serving may be sold legally as "trans-fat free."
Avoid products containing partially hydrogenated oils, such as margarine, shortening, many chips and other snacks, including cakes, pies and cookies. Even some apparently healthful foods, such as breaded chicken or fish and even a veggie stir-fry may contain trans-fats.
Links and articles
No trans fats at PCC. Are restaurants next?, PCC Sound Consumer, March 2007
What are "hydrogenated" or "trans fats"? And what is wrong with them?, PCC Sound Consumer, November 2002
US Food and Drug Administration - Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
The Campaign to Ban Partially Hydrogenated Oils