With heart health risks, it’s not just trans fats in shortenings that matter. Calories do, too. Overweight individuals burden their cardiovascular systems with every excess calorie consumed.

All fats consist of triglycerides that carry 9 Cal per g. David Hughes, senior project manager, technical services, Ventura Foods, Brea, CA, explained that reducing trans and saturated fats in low-calorie baked foods will not independently solve the obesity problem, but it will address associated atherosclerosis conditions.

There’s also the matter of taste and texture — often lacking in low-calorie items. “Continued work will be done to match the highly desirable lubricity of shortenings in foods but with a lower caloric item,” he said. “The answer may come in select lipid combinations that do it all.”