Trans fats are formed through a process called hydrogenation, which converts an unsaturated liquid fat into a solid one. This lengthens the shelf life, so it’s ideal for restaurants and food manufacturers.
Trans fats clog arteries, and raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol. Furthermore, they actually lower your HDL (good) cholesterol as well! They also increase your risk for heart disease.
Here are some tips on how to avoid trans fats in your diet:
Read the nutrition labels to see how much trans fat is in a product
Manufacturers in many countries have now been required to list the trans fat content on their labels. Look for the phrases “partially hydrogenated”, “hydrogenated vegetable oil”, or “shortening” on nutritional labels, since they are dead giveaways that products contain some trans fat.
However, manufacturers don’t have to label the amount of trans fat if it is less than 0,5 grams but it will still contain one of the three ingredients mentioned above if it does contain trans fat.
Cut back on fried, processed, and commercial foods
Avoid eating commercially prepared baked foods, such as cookies, pies, donuts, snack foods, and processed foods. Cook fresh food from scratch.
When you are eating out, ask the server what oil is used to prepare your food
If possible, request a healthier oil. Another option is to skip the deep-fried foods and ask for olive oil on the side.
Choose lean cuts of meat or fish and low-fat milk
Remember that a small amount of trans fat occurs naturally in meat and dairy products, so choose lean cuts of meat or fish and low-fat milk.
Choose liquid vegetables oils that contain little or no trans fat
Choose olive oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, etc. Cold-pressed oils are the healthiest oils.
Buy all-natural peanut butter
Non-natural peanut butter contains hydrogenated oils which is a primary source of trans fats.
When you can’t avoid foods with trans fat
When you can’t avoid foods with trans fat, at least choose products that list partially hydrogenated oils near the bottom of the ingredient list.
The order of the ingredients is based upon the amount of each ingredient from greatest to least.
Restaurants also usually fry their foods in hydrogenated oils, because hydrogenated oils can withstand higher temperatures for longer and don’t leave flavours in food.
If you do go out, ask the servers how the food is prepared and whether they provide nutritional information.
A heart-healthy diet means that 30% or less of your total daily calories come from fat, but saturated fat should account for less than 7% of your total daily calories. Monounsaturated fat is a healthier option.
Excess consumption of trans and other unhealthy fats could contribute to serious health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.
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