Trans fatty acids have become the poster child for a bad diet, and recent research from the University of Missouri only confirms the image. After feeding a panel of pigs several diets that differed in fat content, researchers discovered that a diet regimen rich in trans fats caused the pigs to suffer a significant increase in total cholesterol in just two weeks. So if you’re watching your cholesterol or concerned about cardiovascular health, you may want to avoid trans fats, which are found in hydrogenated vegetable oils, shortenings, and some margarines, as well as many baked goods and packaged snacks.