But wait, there’s more: Because manufacturers aren’t required to mention interesterification in the ingredients list (just like you won’t find the words “trans fat” in an ingredients list now; you have to know to look for “partially hydrogenated”), it’s hard to know whether or not a food even contains IF in the first place. Thanks a lot, food industry. Thanks. A. Lot.
Luckily, there are ways to avoid IF, says Alexandra Caspero, RD, a Missouri-based nutritionist and author of the blog Delish Knowledge. First, she says, it’s a good idea to cut back on processed foods. (Read more about their dangers here.) Then, keep an eye out for ingredients like palm oil, palm kernel oil, and fully hydrogenated oils: These usually (but not always) indicate that fats in the product have been interesterified.
“Definitive research is definitely needed, but my gut is to avoid or limit these fats until more is known,” Caspero says. And other nutrition authorities agree: We really don’t have enough data on these fats to make a ruling on them just yet.
For now, it’s probably better to stay on the safe side.