The FDA has announced a rule that will require labeling of trans fat by 2006:
Trans fats are at least as bad as saturated fat — which is found in milk products, beef and pork — and some scientists think the trans fats are worse. Unlike any other fat, they not only raise the level of low density lipoproteins, bad cholesterol, they may also raise triglycerides and may lower the level of high density lipoproteins — good cholesterol. Last year the National Academy of Sciences said the level of trans fats in the diet should be as low as possible. Even as little as two or three grams of trans fat a day can increase the health risk. A glazed doughnut has four grams of trans fat. […]
That’s right — trans fat is even worse than saturated fat since it lowers “good cholesterol” while raising “bad cholesterol” (saturated fat “only” raises bad cholesterol).
If you’re looking for trans fat in your foods, check for partially hydrogenated ### on the label (trans fat is created when hydrogen is added to oil, solidifying it). Fortunately, many food labels will begin including trans fat prior to the January 1, 2006 deadline.