Let’s get to the point. Trans Fat is one of the most dangerous forms of fat that can cause a wide array of health problems including high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, and heart diseases. These fats are engineered from liquid oils that go through a process called hydrogenation. They increase the amount of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (or bad cholesterol) that clogs arteries and lead to heart diseases like heart attack.
Before, people thought they were a good idea since they enhance the food taste and extend the shelf life of food products. They make crispy foods crispier and creamy foods creamier. And the best of all, it’s the cheapest form of fat.
Later on, doctors have discovered the damages that trans fats can bring about and recommend people to consume less of it. But what’s even more shocking than the negative effects revealed is the fact that they can be found in almost all forms of food.
Trans fats hide in almost every food you can imagine – doughnuts, crackers, shortenings, margarines, popcorn, pastries, waffles, chips, and French fries. Eighty percent of trans fats come from processed food items while the other 20 percent occurs naturally in meat and dairy items.
Trans fat in meat and dairy come in low amounts, which is why the effect is not as damaging as when you consume trans fats in processed food products. It would also be a good idea to consume low-fat dairy products and lean meats not only to avoid harmful trans fats but also saturated fats.
It’s good news that the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) now requires food manufacturers to list down the amount of trans fat in all food products. Just don’t be too trusting on the labels. A 0.5 gram of trans fat can be labeled as zero, making you think that you’re not consuming any amount when you eat this particular type of food.
To help you get away from the harmful effects of trans fats in your life, here are some things that you should keep in mind:
Eat out less often
Fast foods are overflowing with trans fats. While it might be ok to eat in such places once in a while, taking a trip to a fast food more than twice a week can be detrimental to your health. It’s always best to eat at home so you can be aware of what you’re putting in the food that you’re eating. This would not only be good for your health, it would also be beneficial for your pockets.
Limit intake of processed foods
As mentioned earlier, 80 percent of trans fats come from processed foods, which is why the most effective way of staying away from this harmful fat is to avoid buying these food products. Canned meat goods are a good example. While these are convenient to cook and prepare, they contain trans fats that can harm your health over time. Prefer the traditional method of cooking that makes use of fresh lean meat, poultry and seafood.
Use healthy oils
Vegetable oils such as corn, canola, soybean, and olive oils are much healthier than other types of oils like shortening, tropical palm, and coconut oils. Even though the healthier oils are more expensive, the cost would be worth it since you’re investing it on your health.