Ask the experts: Cheese and trans fat

Q: "I have been happily making more vegetarian meals, which tend to be cheesey/eggy, thinking I was doing great substituting these for meat for our protein. Then I read that if even using a lower-fat cheese like edam, if you bake it at a 'high' temperature then it loses it's low-fat rating, and turns into a trans-fat, the worst of all the fats. What temperature is 'too high?"


A: We asked the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) to respond:

"New Zealanders tend to get only a small proportion of their energy from trans fat. Cheeses and other milk and milk products may contain some naturally occurring trans fats but NZFSA does not believe frying, cooking or heating the food would produce the right conditions to make 'extra' trans fats.

Choosing lower fat varieties of milk and milk products reduces the amount of total fat as well as the amount of trans fat (and saturated fat) you might consume from this important food group."

First published: Aug 2009

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