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transfats in oreos? [moved from General Topics]

Someone posted a question in homecooking about making an oreo-like cookie without trans fats. According to the box I have here, oreos contain high oleic canola oil and/or palm oil and/or canola oil. I don't believe those are transfats. Obviously, the cookies are still junk and I'm still annoyed with my SO for buying them instead of the Trader Joe's brand. However, please tell me they're not even worse than I thought.

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  1. Oh, I wonder if they've been reformulated. A lot of companies are phasing out trans fats these days, like Pepperidge Farm and Lays.

    1. I'm the one that posted that. If they don't contain trans fats, I stand corrected. But, I'm sure they still have a lot of ingredients we'd prefer not to eat. I'm going to check out the Trader Joe's version someone suggested.

      Thanks for letting me know that tho. I do know lots of companies are trying to get the trans fats out of their products and we don't normally buy any packaged cookies so I'm a little out of the loop.

      7 Replies
      1. re: sivyaleah

        > I'm going to check out the Trader Joe's version
        Tried these a couple years ago. I liked the all chocolate ones, but the ones with the white filling were way too sweet for me.

        1. re: sivyaleah

          Here's Kraft's statement. The bit about "most baked goods" is misleading; it's easy to find baked goods that contain no partially hydrogenated fats. (Maybe not so easy to find nationally advertised corporate cookies with a three-year shelf life.)

          Q5. Do Oreo cookies contain trans fat?

          Like most baked goods, Oreo cookies do contain some trans fat.

          A serving of our regular Oreo cookies -- which is three cookies -- contains 7 grams of fat, 1.5 of which is saturated fat, and 2.5 of which is trans fat.

          A comparable serving of our reduced fat Oreo cookies contains 3.5 grams of fat, including 1 gram of saturated fat and 1 gram of trans fat.

          http://www.kraft.com/update/faq.html

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Which ingredient, specifically, contains trans fat? I posted the ingredients above. Perhaps the information on their website is out of date. I'm not saying that oreos are anything other than junk, but I do think that they have removed the trans fat. Besides, aren't they made by Nabsico not Kraft?

              1. re: Glencora

                I guess they haven't updated their Web site, reportedly they switched at the beginning of the year.

                Here's a good article on substitutes for artificial trans fats:

                http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutrition...

              2. re: Robert Lauriston

                I wonder if they haven't completely updated their web-site. If it had trans fat, the ingredients would list partially hydrongenated oils. At another page on its site, it says:

                A serving of our regular Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies--which is three cookies--contains 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of which is saturated fat and 0 grams of which is trans fat.

                A comparable serving of our Reduced Fat Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies contains 4.5 grams of fat, including 1 gram of saturated fat and 0 grams of trans fat.

                http://www.kraftfoods.com/main.aspx?m...

              3. re: sivyaleah

                But, I'm sure they still have a lot of ingredients we'd prefer not to eat

                Sorry guys, but the only ingredient I would not eat in an oreo cookie is the finger of the person trying to grab them ahead of me. These little morsels are God's gift to cookies, up there with apple pie, chocolate marshmallow ice cream and double chocolate milanos.

              4. Nabisco has replaced the partially hydrogenated oils in regular Oreos with palm oil, which I think I've heard isn't much better, but it's a step. Some of the Oreo variants still use partially hydrogenated oil. I think the fudge covered ones do.

                10 Replies
                1. re: Humbucker

                  Well, fudge covered will be easy to avoid - that's just not in Oreo in our book.

                  1. re: Humbucker

                    Palm oil is like butter, it's saturated fat, it's generally not good for you but your body can handle it better then transfat.

                    1. re: ML8000

                      For anyone keeping score, there is a slight difference in the fat composition of butter and palm oil; lard, olive and canola are shown for reference:

                      Saturated Fats: B=68.2%, P=51.5%, L=41.0%, O=14.2%, C=7.5%
                      Monounsat Fats: B=27.8%, P=38.8%, L=47.2%, O=75.1%, C=61.5%
                      Polyunsat Fats: B= 4.0%, P= 9.8%, L=11.7%, O=10.8%, C=31.0%

                      Source data:
                      Butter: http://nutritiondata.com/facts-C00001...
                      Palm Oil: http://nutritiondata.com/facts-C00001...
                      Lard: http://nutritiondata.com/facts-C00001...
                      Olive: http://nutritiondata.com/facts-C00001...
                      Canola: http://nutritiondata.com/facts-C00001...

                      1. re: Jefferson

                        Didn't realize palm oil doesn't have cholestrol...but it does have the most calories per cup.

                        1. re: ML8000

                          No, it doesn't. Pure oils are all 120 calories per tablespoon. The basic nutritional measure for oil is the metric equivalent to the tablespoon, and the multiplication for larger quantities magnifies rounding errors, creating the odd variance showing canola oil highest among this group.

                          Butter and lard are partly water (and butter has trace proteins and sugars), so they are lower in calories than pure oils of any type per tablespoon. Standard US butter has 80% of the calories of oil per unit of measure.

                          That's why, for people who are blessed with naturally low or normal cholesterol but are trying to loose or maintain weight, butter (and even lard) can be a "healthier" choice than pure oil if they use the same amount. It can make a difference.

                          1. re: Karl S

                            I'm not sure palm oil is considered a "pure" oil because at room temp it sits in a solid form like butter.

                            Any way, from the links provided above, using 1 cup as the reference, palm oil has slightly more calories per unit then butter and other oils.

                            1. re: ML8000

                              It's a pure oil; its structure happens to allow that feature, which makes it desirable for a number of uses. Again, the cup measure of calories involves magnification of rounding errors. And palm oil is shown as the same as olive oil but less than canola (but all of them involve rounding errors -- they should be the same).

                          2. re: ML8000

                            Cholesterol comes from animal fats only, not vegetables or nuts.

                            1. re: ML8000

                              Since cholesterol is, by definition, contained ONLY in products of animal origin, I don't know how palm oil could contain cholesterol. Palm oil is very high in saturated fats, however, and saturated fats are probably more dangerous to the body than cholesterol.

                              Anyway--cholesterol is contained only in foods that come from animals (eggs, meat, milk & milk products).

                              1. re: ML8000

                                As noted, it's not apples:apples because butter contains tasty dairy solids and a bunch of water. I was only comparing the composition of the fat portion of the various "fatty" products. Also, I don't really know how accurate the underlying USDA data is. I suspect the measurements were made at different times, perhaps in different laboratories, and are subject to some degree of sample variation.

                        2. Nabisco made a pledge to remove all trans fat from their products. It is a gradual process, but I know that regular Oreos have been reformulated for a few months.

                          I can vouch for the Trader Joe's sandwich cookies. They were giving them away a few days ago and they were better than Oreos. (Better than Hydrox too. How I miss those.)

                          1. What does "high oleic" mean? The cynic in me thinks there could be some code for you-don't-wanna-know in that.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: rainey

                              Oleic acid is the good-for-you stuff in olive oil.

                            2. Isn't it interesting that the coconut and palm oils that were going to clog our arteries before we blinked are now considered "healthy" foods. If you don't believe me, check out "extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil".

                              OTOH, the margarines and hydrogenated vegetable fats that we we supposed to use as healthy alternatives to the awful butter, beef fat, and lard are now poison.

                              Turns out that the good tasting stuff was better for us (if still fattening) after all.

                              Medical science is just SO helpful when it comes to food and nutrition! I suspect that olive oil may continue to be OK, but I have to wonder about Canola -- a once toxic oil called "rapeseed" that was, I believe, genetically modified to remove the nasty acids along with the marketing-driven name change.

                              And why would a food processor use "partially hydrogenated palm oil" in any product?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: embee

                                When you consider that people took aspirin for about 75 years before anyone figured out how it actually worked, it doesn't seem so strange that we are constantly being surprised about the unanticipated effects of what goes into our bodies...

                              2. Artificial trans fats are produced by the partial-hydrogenation process. Small amounts of natural trans fats are found in beef and milk, but they're not unhealthy as the artificial stuff.

                                Tropical oils were given a bad name by the American companies that were pushing partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil.

                                Natural (that is, not partially hydrogenated) coconut oil and palm oil are good substitutes for partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.

                                All vegetable oils are cholesterol-free (though avoiding cholesterol per se does little or nothing to lower your serum cholesterol, since your body makes its own).

                                1. If you're eating so many Oreos that the amount of transfats would matter to your health, you're already eating about 10 times too many Oreos.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: wayne keyser

                                    Not true.

                                    "The Nurses' Health Study found that replacing only 30 calories (7 grams) of carbohydrates every day with 30 calories (4 grams) of trans fats nearly doubled the risk for heart disease."

                                    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutrition...

                                    Two of the old Oreos contained 5 grams.

                                  2. Wow. That's good to know. I hate that some products with less than 1 gram "per serving" say 0 grams fat!!! on the box. Obviously, it could still add up quickly.

                                    (Oops, meant to reply to Robert Lauriston)

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Glencora

                                      Actually it's less than half a gram that can be rounded down to zero. If the ingredients include any partially-hydrogenated fat, it's not really zero.

                                    2. I thought Nabisco stopped using transfat in their cookies a year or two ago. imho Oreos are just not the same.

                                      On another post re Newman's Own cookies, someone said they sell a top and bottoms version with (no cream!). I'll give them a try but I'm an Oreo man. Outside of my mother's Russian tea cakes, Oreo's are my alltime favorite cookie.

                                      1. Surprised nobody's mentioned Newman's Own sandwich cookies as an alternative -- they are good, and have always been trans-fat free, from what I can recall. Since I'm not a fan of bitter black ersatz chocolate as a cookie flavor, I appreciate the fact that they make a gingerbread sandwich variety.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: themis

                                          There was a post recently about Newman's Own cookies, including Ginger-Os. They're fantastic, one of my favorite cookies, although they're not very spicy - I wouldn't call them gingerbread.

                                        2. Were the transfats in Oreos originally a substitute for the lard they took out by popular demand?

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: julesrules

                                            Not necessarily. Crisco was introduced in 1911, Oreos in 1912.