The Health Guru

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How Food IS Killing you: Trans fat

Posted on | November 24, 2009 | No Comments

What are trans fats?

Food Containing Trans fat

Food Containing Trans fat

Trans fat is the common name for unsaturated fat with trans-isomer fatty acid(s)

Where are they found?

Trans fats can be natural or artificial. Small amounts of trans fat occur naturally in beef and dairy foods.

Artificial trans fats are made when hydrogen gas reacts with oil. They can be found in cookies, cakes, biscuits, crackers, chocolate bars, shakes, ice-cream, deep fried foods, salad dressings, potato chips, fast food, donuts, margarine and microwave popcorn.

How are artificial Trans fats made?

When you add hydrogen to liquid vegetable oil and then add pressure, the result is a stiffer fat, much more convenient to be used by manufacturers.  Trans fats are also called hydrogenated fats / vegetable oil.

Why are they so bad?

  • Can increase the bad cholesterol (LDL) & lower the good (HDL)
  • Raise the risk of heart disease (heart attack, stroke)
  • Raise risk of Type 2 Diabetes (due to increased resistance to insulin)
  • Clog arteries
  • Cause obesity
  • The human body doesn’t need any man-made fats for survival & they do no promote health
  • Cause inflammation of the cells of body
  • Far worse than any natural fat found in food products
  • There is presently research into trans fat consumption being linked to liver disease, alzheimers, cancer and infertility

Why are Trans fats found in so many foods if they are so dangerous for our health?

Food manufacturers started using them because they extended the shelf life of their products. Eg. Potato Chips can stay on the shelf and stay crispy for years.  They also improve the taste & texture of pastries to give you that melt in your mouth sensation.

How to avoid eating them?

Check nutrition labels – most countries state the presence of trans fats

Read ingredients lists and avoid food with vegetable shortening or hydrogenated vegetable oil a.k.a trans fats

Avoid deep-fried and processed foods

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