Trans fats are notorious for being unhealthy, which is why dieticians discourage the consumption of foods containing these fats. Many people mistake trans fats for saturated fats, but they’re completely different. Trans fats come from hydrogenated vegetable oil. The liquid form of the raw material becomes solid once the process has been carried out.
This technique is widely used in food manufacturing because it affects the shelf life of the end product. However, the real problem occurs because these fats have been recorded throughout the years for causing cardiovascular disease. For this reason, their use has now been strictly regulated or completely banned.
Why are trans fats created?
Many of us are wondering why trans fats are still produced despite all the health risks that come along with them. To us consumers, trans fats are bad in every sense of the word, but to companies, they bring in more profits because trans fats don’t go rancid quickly compared to the original form. Not only an increase in self life, but it also turns out that these fats have a different yet delicious flavor. Therefore, from a business standpoint it’s easy to figure out why these fats are still everywhere today.
Dangers of trans fats
Trans fats harm your body by increasing the level of LDL and lowering the level of HDL in your body. That should be the opposite if we’re aiming to maintain good health. They can also cause inflammation in the body. Many diseases would appear when the health of the blood vessels is compromised, such as heart attack and stroke.
Foods containing trans fats
Many people don’t realize how closely we live with trans fats. They’re like an inseparable part of our diet. Have you eaten pies, doughnuts, and biscuits? These foods use margarine as one of the main ingredients, meaning that the chance of finding trans fats is high. Add it to the fact that these are some of people’s favorite foods consumed daily.
Due to their immense popularity, it’s not surprising the FDA has voiced concerns regarding the use of these fats in food manufacturing. On another note, trans fats are not just the commercial type. Some of them actually exist in nature, but they are not the ones added to processed foods. Aside from baked goods, you can also find them in cheeses, frosting, shortening, etc.
How to avoid trans fats
The best way to avoid trans fats is to know the types of foods that contain them. Baked goods like cakes and cookies are some of them since they use margarine a lot. Although oil can be a substitute, many don’t want to switch because trans fats have a different mouth feel. Foods that contain them are said to taste better overall. Well, if you put your health first, then make an effort to limit the consumption if you don’t want to ditch these foods altogether. Eat more fruits and veggies because they don’t have a bad reputation of causing cardiovascular disease like trans fats do.
There are many other good foods to eat, including beans, lean meats, eggs, etc. Another important tip is to read on labels. Make sure there is no ‘hydrogenated oil’ printed on a food’s label before consuming it. However, this might not work if the company is deliberately trying to hide components they known will turn off potential buyers.