What is TRANS FAT?

I always read about trans fat in labels when buying my groceries.  I was trying to be health conscious lately and that includes reading the labels of the food I buy.  To understand what is trans fat is my first objective today and you should too.

Fats come in a solid or liquid form and are combination of saturated fat-which is bad for the heart and unsaturated fat, which in not.  Some fats are higher in saturated fat and other has more of the unsaturated variety.

Saturated fat, which raises cholesterol, is found in animal products-think butter, whole milk and steak and that we usually eat everyday- and in tropical oils such as palm and coconut.  Unsaturated fats, which can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, are always liquid and found in vegetable oils.  They come in two forms: monounsaturated-olive and canola oils- and polyunsaturated-such as safflower, sunflower, and corn and soybeans oils (all fates are calories dense, so eat even good ones in moderation).

Unlike the natural trans fats found in milk and some meats, man-made trans fatty acids are by-products of heating polyunsaturated liquid vegetable oil in the presence of hydrogen, which in done to create a fat that remains solid at room temperature and that won’t go bad as quickly-useful traits for cooking.  The resulting partially hydrogenated fat is the artery clogged.

The danger of saturated fats is that it raises DHL cholesterol, causing a building of plaque in arteries which in turn can cause heart disease.  But least saturated fat leaves HDL alone, or slightly raises it.  Trans fat however, deliver a damaging one-two punch; They not only raise LDL, it also lower HDL.  We should read the labels and know the hidden danger of a certain products.  So we know What the FOOD LABEL doesn’t tell us.

FDA rules let a manufacturer market a food as having no trans fat if it contains less than half a gram per serving.  To find the truth we should read the ingredients list.

If it includes “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil,” the food has a small amount of trans fat even the label says zero.  The higher u on the list the mention occurs, the more trans fat it has.  (Remember, too that “one serving” can be very small; the amount you actually eat will likely rack up even more fat.)

Sometimes the ingredients label trans fat by using a word that mask the truth.  So we should be vigilant and observant in buying foods for our family.  We just want our family to be healthy right?

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