What is Trans-fat?
Trans fat is the worst to consume among all fats since trans-fatty acids raise "bad" cholesterol and lower "good" cholesterol.
1. Fat found in the gut of some animals and foods made from these animals is its natural source.
2. Artificially it is liquid oils that are turned into solid fats by hydrogenation.
Why double trouble?
The concern about trans fats is that they increase the risk of unhealthy lipid profiles, cardiovascular diseases, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
Cardiovascular disease risk:[1,2]
1. Trans fats raise your LDL (Low-density lipoprotein) - "BAD" cholesterol & lower your HDL (High-density lipoprotein) - "GOOD" cholesterol.
2. These altered levels can cause cholesterol deposition in your blood vessels, leading to heart disease & risk of stroke.
Weight gain and diabetes risk:
1. Many high-fat foods like fried foods have much trans-fat.
2. Excess weight gain due to trans-fat increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems.
Trans fats in your food
Animal foods, such as red meats and dairy products, but we seldom consume them.
The primary concern is fried, packaged, or processed foods like:
1. Refined flour baked goods, such as cakes, cookies and pies
2. Fried foods, including French fries, doughnuts and fried chicken
3. Frozen pizza, bake-ready popcorn
4. Nondairy coffee creamer, margarine.
What should you eat?
1. Look for healthy substitutes whenever possible.
2. Limit red meat and sugary foods & beverages.
3. Use vegetable oils like sunflower & olive oil.
4. Look for processed foods made with unhydrogenated oil.
5. Use soft margarine as a substitute for butter.
6. Look for "0 g trans-fat" on the Nutrition Facts label.
7. Limit intake of doughnuts, cookies, muffins, pies and cakes.
8. Replace whole-fat dairy with low-fat milk, yoghurt, and cheese.
9. Limit commercially fried foods with hydrogenated vegetable oils.
The bottom line:
Trans fat is not there in all packaged foods. It depends on the ingredients. So, please read the labels.
While occasionally treating yourself to high-fat foods is acceptable, it is best to avoid food with trans fats altogether.