What are Trans Fats?

why-are-trans-fats-badHave you ever asked yourself what a trans fat is and why it’s bad for you? ¬†Well, it is a type of specific fat that is created when fats that are initially in liquid form are made solid by adding hydrogen atoms. Some of these fats are found in nature in foods that are animal based. Originally, trans fats were used to increase the shelf life of some foods.

The Institute of Medicine suggests that people consume as little trans fat as possible in their diets. Instead, we should be consuming more raw, natural foods. Trans fat both decreases the good cholesterol and increases the bad cholesterol. It gives quite the double whammy. The ratio of good cholesterol (HDL) to bad cholesterol (LDL) determines how likely you are to get heart disease. With that said, it is in everyone’s interest to reduce their intake of trans fat and have a healthy diet.

There are some steps you can take to decrease the trans fat that you consume:

  • Compare Foods – Read all of the labels and pick the one that is the most healthy. This isn’t always an easy task. There are cases where the rules for labeling allow a manufacturer to falsely label their food with no trans fat when there is as much as 0.49 grams per serving in it.
  • Switch your consumption to polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These are the kinds of oils that are found in nuts and oils, such as canola, olive, and more. In moderation, these oils can benefit your health and do not raise your levels of LDL. A lot of the vegetable oils work as well, such as sunflower or corn oil.
  • A lot of the ready to prepare and processed foods we eat contain trans fat. One example is microwave popcorn. Instead of using popcorn you microwave, try using a large pan with corn oil on the stove to pop it. Not only is it better for you, but it tastes better.


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