Does Crisco Contain Trans Fats?

The label on the can says 0 grams of trans fat, but the ingredients list contains partially hydrogenated oils. Is it really trans fat free?

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
1-minute read

Q. "In your last podcast on the 3 things you won't ever eat, you said that you avoid eating vegetable shortening because of the trans fats. My can of Crisco says it has 0 grams trans fat per serving.  I know this doesn't mean that it's trans fat free, but is it really that bad? I can't find lard in my area and  have not been successful making all-butter pie crusts."

A. Crisco has significantly reduced the amount of trans fats in their shortening - just enough to allow them to legally claim 0 grams trans fat per serving on the label. But as you can see in the ingredient list, it still contains partially hydrogenated soybean oil. In fact, each tablespoon contains just under 1/2 g of trans fats. 

As I said in the podcast episode you're referring to, it's not that I think that a trans fatssingle cookie (or piece of pie) made with shortening will instantly stop your heart. On the other hand, it's easy to replace this ingredient with something less harmful.  Spectrum Organics makes a trans fat-free vegetable shortening from palm oil. It's more expensive than Crisco - but if you're going through more than one tub of shortening a year, then I have other concerns besides trans fats!

Assuming that pies are an occasional treat and not a daily staple, don't lose sleep over it. But when you finish your current can of Crisco, consider upgrading!

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.