Just What is this
Trans Fat Stuff All About?
You read about it. You hear about it. And certainly
not a very exciting topic to talk about! But does it really sink in to
your brain as to what they’re really talking about and why it affects you
on a day-to-day level?
Put as simply as one can without making it too
complicated, trans fat is a fat product that is created through a process
called hydrogenation. Ordinary vegetable oils (that are normally considered
“healthy” for you) are put into tanks with a reactive metal and hydrogen
gas is bubbled through the oil until the contents partially solidify. The
product that results is called partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil.
When this process was first created at the turn
of the 20th century, it was hailed as the ultimate fat because they made
food taste sooo good, last longer on the shelf, make crisp foods crunchier
and creamy foods creamier – at a lower cost!
But now, doctors are coming to realize that
this “wonder fat” isn’t so wonderful. They’ve come to realize that trans
fats can be quite damaging to the heart.
Recent studies have found that trans fat products
- Increase LDL (bad) cholesterol levels
- Decrease HDL (good) cholesterol levels
- Increase arterial plaque in the arteries
(increasing risk of heart attacks)
- Cause general digestive disorders
Where oh where are these trans fats
In just about everything you eat! You can find
them in most processed foods, including cookies (darn!), popcorn, margarines,
shortenings, baked goods, crackers, doughnuts, chips, frozen waffles, french
fries – all those yummy foods we love to eat!
So how do we cut down or figure out what amounts
we’re eating? Well, the good news is that the FDA has helped us out here
by requiring all manufacturers to list the amount of trans fats in foods
Shift from the fat-laden processed foods to the
more natural, wholesome foods which have loads of disease-fighting nutrients.
So it’s up to us to read the labels and make wise choices!