Americans are still eating unhealthy and it’s no surprise when a third of this country is considered obese. A part of the ongoing problem is the shortcuts companies take to put in unhealthy ingredients listed under masked names to hide their true identity. Nowadays, you have to be a sleuth to uncover the dangers hidden inside your favorite foods, and because many fail or forget about them, Americans still have a serious saturated and trans fat problem.

Trans fat forms when vegetable oil is fully or partially hardened at high temperatures and pressures with hydrogen. What’s the recommended amount of trans fats? According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, Americans should keep trans fat consumption as low as possible, because gram for gram it is the most harmful fat of all. Trans fat can make food taste better, last longer, and harm your heart more by raising cholesterol and increasing inflammation.

The good news is, since 2005, the amount of artificially and partially hydrogenated trans fats found in our food has decreased by 75 percent. The bad news is, despite the decline, people are still eating too many trans fats. Researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health studied more than 12,000 adults between the ages of 25 to 74 from 1980 to 2009 and found trans fat intake dropped approximately one-third in men and women. However, the intake of trans fat is nearly twice the amount the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends, which is no more than one percent of total calories consumed each day.

Saturated fats are simple fat molecules that are also being consumed too much. The AHA recommends five to six percent of saturated fats at most in their total calories, but men and women are eating twice that amount. In combination, both saturated and trans fats increase the risk of heart disease, by raising bad cholesterol levels and lowering good cholesterol levels. Saturated fats are found in meats and full-fat dairy products, while trans fats are mainly found in processed, fried, or baked foods. Meanwhile, Americans still aren’t meeting the healthy amount of omega-3 fatty acids needed in their diets, such as salmon, flax seeds, walnuts, shrimp, and soybeans.

"There's a downward trend in trans and saturated fat intake levels, but it's clear that we still have room for improvement," the study’s lead author Dr. Mary Ann Honors, an epidemiology researcher at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis, said in a press release. "To make your diet more in line with the recommendations, use the nutritional panel on food labels to choose foods with little or no trans fats."

10 Trans Fat-Laced Foods To Avoid:

1. Pie and Piecrust

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and with it comes a celebratory table full of pies and delicious flakey crusts. Baked products are notorious for containing trans fats (especially McDonald’s apple pies, which contain shortening and a long list of unpronounceable ingredients). Marie Callender’s frozen fruit and cream pies have 2 to 4.5 grams of trans fat per serving, while the Pillsbury Doughboy giggles at the 1.5 grams he cooks into his pie crusts.

2. French Fries or Anything Fried

When you add hydrogen to vegetable oil and then toss in some cut up potatoes, you get French fries, along with a big serving of trans fat. Some fast food chains have reduced their levels, but there are still more than the AHA wants you to ingest in each serving. It’s smart to automatically assume if it’s fried or battered, it probably contains more than the recommended amount of trans fats.

3. Shortening

It’s a solid form of fat. Shortening is used in pastries to make them crumbly and inelastic, so steer clear of any commercially produced pastries because there’s a good chance trans fats are waiting for you in their carefully labeled packages designed to attract your taste buds. You’ve probably seen Crisco in your mother’s cupboard; it’s made with all-vegetable oil. They’ve done a good job of eliminating a lot of the trans fats, but if you take a close look you’ll see there are still partially hydrogenated oils lurking inside.

4. Cake Mixes and Frosting

This makes it difficult to celebrate the love put into a homemade cake, even if it’s not made from scratch. Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker come with labels like “real butter” and “trans fat-free.” Be wary because that usually just means they replaced it with shortening, which has trace amounts of trans fat. Sticking your finger into the frosting container and batter just got a whole lot more dangerous for your health than you probably realized.

5. Pancake and Waffle Mixes

Sunday mornings just aren’t the same without breakfast in bed. Pancakes and waffles make for the best late-morning wake up routine, but Bisquick makes it hard to incorporate it into a healthy routine. Thankfully, the company caught onto its unhealthy practices and now provide trans fat-free Bisquick Complete, Gluten Free, and Heart Smart options.

6. Ice cream and Shakes

Blends of soft-serve ice cream and creamy drinks contain sneaky amounts of trans fats. Not everyone realizes how easily trans fats can slip into so many different types of foods, even in hot chocolates, too. There are naturally occurring trans fats in dairy products, but it’s unclear if the natural ones are as bad for you as the processed ones. Either way, they’re both high in calories and should be watched out for, especially in Dairy Queen’s Avalanche shakes or Haagen-Dazs pints.

7. Nondairy Creamers

Coffee is a morning necessity for some, but everyone can do without the creamers that contain trans fat. Even if the coveted Coffee-Mate says it contains 0 grams trans fat, most of the flavors list partially hydrogenated oils as the second or third ingredients on the nutrition label. They may taste creamy, but that’s just fat you’re sipping on. Stir in some good ol’ fashion milk and call it a morning. Your taste buds will adapt eventually.

8. Microwave Popcorn

Watching a movie just isn’t the same without a bowl of popcorn in your lap and the lights dimmed. Whether you’re at the movie theatre or snuggled up at home to watch your favorite flick, butter flavoring adds on heaping amounts of trans fat per serving. Popcorn by itself is a healthy fiber snack, which is why dieticians suggest popping the kernels at home and staying away from adding too much salt or melted butter. If you opt for the “artificial flavor” caramel, you’re just asking for a trans fat-filled movie night.

9. Ground Beef

Some big chains have been working hard to remove hydrogenated oils from their fried foods, but most restaurant burgers still have high levels of trans fats. Peer into the coolers of the meat section in your grocery store, you’ll find an unhealthy amount of trans fats in frozen burgers, beef sausages, and beef hot dogs.

10. Frozen Dinners

Microwavable meals are the go-to for a quick and filling bite, but they are far from being reliably healthy. Frozen dinners and the like are some of the biggest offenders of trans fats, especially when it comes to meat products. Read the labels closely before pulling frozen food out of the grocery store fridge.

Source: Honors MA, Steffen L, Zhou X, and Harnack L. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2014.