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Ask Tufts Experts October 2011 Issue

Q: Are the shortenings that boast “no trans fat” really any better for you than the old ones with trans fat? Or healthier than butter?

Answer :  Yes, shortenings actually have gotten better, jettisoning the trans fat that contributes to heart disease. Accordng to Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, director of Tufts’ HNRCA Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory, besides zero trans fat, these shortenings have less saturated fat and a higher percentage of polyunsaturated fat than butter, making them a heart-healthier choice. Use in moderation, of course, because shortening still contains calories.

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