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Trans Fats

Unsaturated fat with trans-isomer fatty acids.

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Avoid Trans Fats: They Are Bad News

  • Mar 26, 2010
Rating:
-5
glaze or sprinkles can't cover up the fact that many donuts have trans fatTrans fats may be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated but never saturated.  Unlike other dietary fats, trans fats are not essential, and they do not promote good health.  The consumption of trans fats increases one's risk of coronary heart disease by raising levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and lowering levels of "good" HDL cholesterol.  Health authorities worldwide recommend that consumption of trans fat be reduced to trace amounts. Trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils are more harmful than naturally occurring oils.  If that wasn't bad enough, many believe that trans-fats also increase the risk of dibetes, Alzheimer's, cancer, infertility, obesity and liver dysfunction.

Foods where you may find high amount of trans-fats:

  • Margarine and butter - loaded with trans fats and saturated fats
  • Packaged foods - some cake mixes, Bisquick
  • Soup cups - Ramen noodles, for example
  • Pound cake
  • Donuts
  • Cookies and cakes (with shortening-based frostings) - from supermarket bakeries have plenty of trans fat.
  • Frozen Food - frozen pies, pot pies, waffles, pizzas, even breaded fish sticks contain trans fat
  • Baked goods - more trans fats are used in commercially baked products than any other foods
  • Fast Food - fries, chicken, and other foods are deep-fried in partially hydrogenated oil. Even if the chains use liquid oil, fries are sometimes partially fried in trans fat before they're shipped to the restaurant.


According to 
BanTransFats.com, the following are what we need to know about trans-fats:

It looks good, doesn't it? Well, watch out for the trans fats
  • Avoid products which have the words "partially hydrogenated" or "shortening" in the ingredients list.
  • If the label says zero trans fats, don't believe it. If the words "partially hydrogenated" or "shortening" are in the ingredients list, it DOES contain trans fat.
  • Be careful when consuming products with labels from outside the United States. Sometimes they contain partially hydrogenated oil but it's not on the label.
  • In restaurants, bakeries, and other eateries, ask whether they use partially hydrogenated oil for frying or baking or in salad dressings. If they say they use vegetable oil, ask whether it is partially hydrogenated. Don't be shy about asking. Assume that all unlabeled baked and fried goods contain partially hydrogenated oil, unless you know otherwise.
  • Keep saturated fat intake low too. This is very important.
  • Remember that polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fats are good fats.
  • Cholesterol that affects our arteries comes from two sources: (i) animal products and (ii) bad fats. If a product is "cholesterol fee," that doesn't mean that it won't raise your bad cholesterol. If the product itself contains no cholesterol but it does contain trans fat or saturated fat, it will raise your bad cholesterol.

In a nutshell, trans fats are bad news.  With my family history of cardiac issues, I'm very aware of these naughty trans fats and I avoid them when I can.  Keeping away from them can improve your health.

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August 03, 2011
That's a good point. They should be.
 
July 10, 2011
Trans fats should be taxed as junk food- period.
 
March 28, 2010
nice informative review! I try to pick up items with no trans fat, shortening, sodium nitrite, and high fructose corn syrup...As one person told me, if you don't know what it says...try not to buy it. Although admittedly, it is oftentimes difficult to do.
March 29, 2010
High fructose corn syrup is one I find really hard to avoid. It seems to be in everything. I found out recently it's in the wheat bread I was buying. Goodness.
 
March 27, 2010
Great review but gee what's left to eat. A diet of cottage cheese and kiwi just won't do it for me. But after reading the info in your review I promise to be more careful!
March 29, 2010
I know. Every few months it's something else. I'm sure we'll dramatically cut down our trans fat intake and a few months down the road it will be something else.
 
March 26, 2010
Thanks for all these tips. Reading what you wrote about transfat, I bet donuts are loaded with them :x  I read somewhere that even if a nutritional label says 0% transfat, there still might be traceable amounts of it, but they just don't reach a high enough level to get labeled.  Time to reevaluate my snacks!
March 29, 2010
Yep, manufacturers sneak trans fats into whatever they can. I guess it's a cheaper alternative for them. Many are now switching to better oils and cutting out the trans fats, supposedly.
 
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About the reviewer
Clay Miller ()
Ranked #49
Graphic designer/illustrator and owner of Miller Creative Designs, LLC who on Lunch.com likes to shareinsight on Greenand health insight, ideas and other tidbits.Creator/writer of Ways2GoGreen .com& … more
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Wiki

Trans fat is the common name for unsaturated fat with trans-isomer fatty acid(s). Trans fats may be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated but never saturated.

 Unlike other dietary fats, trans fats are not essential, and they do not promote good health. The consumption of trans fats increases the risk of coronary heart disease by raising levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and lowering levels of "good" HDL cholesterol. Health authorities worldwide recommend that consumption of trans fat be reduced to trace amounts. Trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils are more harmful than naturally occurring oils.

Animal-based fats were once the only trans fats consumed, but by far the largest amount of trans fat consumed today is created by the processed food industry as a side-effect of partially hydrogenating unsaturated plant fats (generally vegetable oils). These partially-hydrogenated fats have displaced natural solid fats and liquid oils in many areas, notably in the fast food, snack food, fried food and baked goods industries.

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