You may be surprised to learn that many of the foods you regularly eat contain trans fats. Check out this blog post to learn more about trans fats and which foods to avoid.
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What are Trans Fats?
Trans fats are a type of fat that occur naturally in some animals, but are also created artificially in laboratories. These fats are often used in processed foods because they extend the shelf life and make the food taste better. Trans fats can be found in many different types of food, including:
The Dangers of Trans Fats
Partially hydrogenated oils are created when manufacturers pump hydrogen into unsaturated fats like soybean or vegetable oil, making them more solid at room temperature. This process increases the shelf life of processed foods, but it also makes them extremely unhealthy. In fact, the FDA has deemed trans fats “not generally recognized as safe” for consumption.
Eating foods high in trans fats increases your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and lowers your HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. This puts you at a greater risk for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. In fact, the CDC estimates that eliminating trans fats could prevent up to 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year in the United States.
So what foods have trans fats? Unfortunately, they’re found in a lot of common processed food items, including:
-Iced coffee drinks
-Packaged cookies and crackers
The Negative Health Effects of Trans Fats
Trans fats are a type of unsaturated fat that has been shown to have negative health effects. Trans fats are found in foods such as margarine, shortening, and some types of cooking oil. They are also often used in processed foods such as crackers, cookies, and snack foods.
Trans fats can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke by raising your levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and lowering your levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Trans fats can also contribute to other health conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Because of the negative health effects of trans fats, it is important to avoid them as much as possible. You can do this by reading food labels carefully and avoiding processed foods that contain trans fats.
How to Avoid Trans Fats
Trans fats, or “trans fatty acids,” are a type of unsaturated fat that can damaging to your health. Theyraise your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your “good” (HDL) cholesterol levels. This increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Trans fats are found in many processed foods, such as:
-Potato, corn, and tortilla chips
-Snack foods (such as microwave popcorn)
You can avoid trans fats by reading food labels carefully. Foods that contain less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving can be labeled as “trans fat free.” If a food contains trans fats, it must be listed on the Nutrition Facts label.
Foods that Contain Trans Fats
While the FDA has decreased the amount of allowed trans fats in processed foods, they are still present in some foods. Here is a list of some common foods that may contain trans fats:
– Vegetable shortening
– Fried foods
– Baked goods (such as pies, cookies, and pastries)
– Snack foods (such as chips and crackers)
– Processed breakfast cereals
– Non-dairy coffee creamer
– Ready-to-use frosting
Why are Trans Fats so Bad for You?
Trans fats are created when manufacturers turn liquid oils into solid fats, like margarine or shortening. This process, called “hydrogenation,” makes the fats more stable and less likely to go rancid. But it also creates a new kind of fat molecule that our bodies can’t metabolize properly.
Eating foods high in trans fats raises your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels and lowers your “good” (HDL) cholesterol levels. This increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. In fact, trans fats are so bad for your health that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned them from being added to food starting in 2018.
So, what foods have trans fats? Here are a few examples:
· Vegetable oils that have been hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated
· Fried foods (such as French fries and chicken nuggets)
· Baked goods (such as cookies, pastries, pie crusts, pizza dough, crackers, and stick margarine)
· Snack foods (such as microwave popcorn and nuts roasted in oil)
· Refrigerated dough products (such as biscuits and cinnamon rolls)
· Coffee creamer
The History of Trans Fats
The history of trans fats is a long and complicated one. Trans fats were first created in the early 20th century, and their use has been controversial ever since.
Trans fats are created by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils, which changes the structure of the oils and makes them solid at room temperature. This process is called “hydrogenation.” Trans fats are often used in processed foods because they are cheaper than other fats, and because they extend the shelf life of food.
Trans fats have been shown to increase levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and decrease levels of “good” HDL cholesterol in the blood. This can lead to an increased risk for heart disease and stroke. For this reason, many experts recommend that people avoid trans fats as much as possible.
In recent years, trans fat labeling laws have been enacted in several countries, and some companies have voluntarily reduced or eliminated trans fats from their products. However, these efforts have not eliminated trans fat intake entirely, and further work is needed to eliminate this dangerous ingredient from our food supply.
The Future of Trans Fats
Trans fats, also called “partially hydrogenated oils,” are made by pumping hydrogen gas into vegetable oil to make it solid at room temperature. This process was invented in the early 1900s as a way to make margarine and other solid fats, like shortening, without using dairy products. Trans fats were once thought to be a healthier alternative to butter because they were lower in saturated fat. But we now know that trans fats are just as bad for your heart as saturated fats. In fact, trans fats are even worse because they not only raise your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels, but they also lower your “good” (HDL) cholesterol levels.
How to Reduce Your Trans Fat Intake
You might be surprised to learn that trans fats are found in a variety of foods, including:
-Baked goods (cookies, pastries, pies, crackers, and biscuits)
-Fried foods (tempura, french fries, fried chicken)
-Snack foods (potato chips, corn chips, popcorn)
-Cereals and granola bars
-Margarine and shortening
-Coffee creamers and whipped toppings
-Refrigerated dough products (pie crusts, biscuits, croissants)
Eating foods high in trans fat can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. The good news is that you can lower your intake of trans fat by avoiding processed foods and choosing healthier alternatives. Here are some tips:
-Replace trans fat with olive oil or another type of healthy oil when cooking.
-Limit your intake of fried foods. When you do eat fried foods, choose restaurants that use healthy oils like olive oil or avocado oil.
-Check food labels for the amount of trans fat. Foods that contain less than 0.5 grams per serving can be labeled as “trans fat free.” However, even if a food is labeled as “trans fat free,” it might still contain small amounts of trans fat. So it’s important to limit your overall intake of processed foods.
-Choose baked goods made with healthy oils like olive oil or avocado oil instead of those made with butter or margarine.
Trans Fat Alternatives
When it comes to our health, we should be very careful about the type of fats we consume on a daily basis. You may be surprised to learn that not all fats are bad for you. However, there is one type of fat that you should avoid at all costs, and that is trans fat. Trans fat is an unhealthy type of fat that can raise your LDL cholesterol levels and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Trans fat is found in many processed foods, such as: