trans fat

 

Trans fat is the worst kind of fat. With almost no nutritional value, it’s just heart trouble waiting to happen. Unfortunately, trans fat is also common in many mass-produced foods and drinks. You might even be eating it at your local fast food place. The fact that many governments have outright banned the use of industrially-produced trans fat is pretty good proof that this is serious stuff, and something to avoid as much as possible.

The trans fat invasion

The main origin of trans fat, as well as the source of its eventual ubiquity, comes from cooking oil. In fact, trans fat is really just a byproduct of a process called hydrogenation. Why is partially hydrogenated oil preferred? Well, it’s cheap, durable and gives foods cooked in it a popular taste.

Trans fat may be in a surprising number of foods you eat. It’s more commonly marketed these days as partially hydrogenated oil and is used as a way to keep foods tasting fresh for longer than normal. This means you can find it in lots of:

  • Frozen foods, like pizzas
  • Baked goods that last longer than a few days
  • Chips and popcorn often have trans fat
  • Margarine
  • Dough in cans for biscuits, etc. that needs to be refrigerated

It’s important to read the label on products like these. The American Heart Association recommends avoiding trans fat altogether. Some countries have banned its use in restaurants as well as some parts of the U.S., like New York City, Baltimore and California.

Why is trans fat so bad?

A certain amount of fat in our diets is actually a good thing. Fats help us absorb vitamins in foods, provide energy and more.

That doesn’t include trans fats.

When we eat trans fat, our triglyceride levels go up (a marker of the metabolic syndrome) as well as our risk of heart disease, diabetes and other cardiovascular problems.

This is a big deal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in America for both men and women. The huge Nurses’ Health Study even found that trans fat leads to an even higher rate of heart disease in younger women compared to older.

What to do about trans fats

Avoiding trans fat may seem a bit difficult, considering how many common products and places may be using it. That doesn’t mean you should try and avoid all fats completely. The right kind of fat in moderation is important to the optimal function of your body.

The American Heart Association recommends a diet that avoids trans fat by “emphasizing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish and nuts. Also limit red meat and sugary foods and beverages.”

That’s not so bad. Eating fresh as a rule of thumb is a pretty good idea, but scheduling out meals to ensure they don’t have trans fat can be tough, especially when eating out.

Olumia Life can help with that. The Olumia Life Nutrition plan is tailored to your health goals and is just the sort of diet for avoiding trans fat, not to mention improving your health in numerous other ways.

Eating out is easier when you take advantage of Olumia Life. Through the app and website, you can find the best option available at restaurants all over. The best options are chosen and explained based on overall nutrition, not calorie values.

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