Objective: To estimate intake and identify major dietary sources of trans-fatty acids consumed by healthy, pregnant women.
Design: Cross-sectional prospective study using a food intake questionnaire designed specifically to estimate trans-fatty acid intakes calculated from a trans-fatty acid food database developed by food analysis.
Subjects/setting: Healthy, pregnant women (n=60) were recruited in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Statistical analyses performed: Using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 9.0, descriptive statistics were applied to all variables and paired t tests were used to determine differences in intakes between second and third trimester of pregnancy.
Results: The mean fat intakes (in g/person/day) for the second and third trimesters, respectively, were: 85.8 and 73.9 total fat, 31.5 and 26.4 monounsaturated, 29.7 and 26.3 saturated, 13.6 and 12.2 polyunsaturated, and 3.8 and 3.4 trans. Fat represented 28% of dietary energy in both trimesters. The major sources of trans-fatty acids were bakery foods (33% of trans-fatty acid intake), fast foods (12%), breads (10%), snacks (10%), and margarines/shortenings (8%).
Applications/conclusions: Women following diets providing about 30% energy from fat consumed about 90% of trans-fatty acids as invisible fat, with less than 10% from table spreads. Dietitians should educate pregnant clients about hidden sources of trans-fatty acids and emphasize the importance of dietary fat composition.