It seems like it's becoming more and more difficult to know what foods are good for you and which contain health-busting monsters. Trans fats are the worst of them all. So how are we supposed to know if we're eating foods that contain these scary fats?
Registered dietitian and momlogic friend Diane Henderiks gave us the skinny on the different types of trans fats--and how to avoid them all together.
"Trans fat is a harmful, artificial fat that is the worst kind of fat and should not be consumed at all! It's formed when a liquid oil goes through a chemical process called partial hydrogenation, which converts the liquid to a semi-solid consistency," Diane said. "The result--a good fat is turned into a bad fat!
"Dietary trans fats have been linked to the increased risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States. Not only that, but evidence suggests that trans fat raises 'bad' cholesterol (LDL) and lowers 'good' cholesterol, (HDL) which leads to clogged arteries and strokes. Don't be alarmed. There are ways to avoid them."
Now that you know the what's and the why's ... where do you find trans fats and how can you avoid them?
1. Look at the label ... if it says, "partially hydrogenated" there are trans fats in the product.
2. Foods that come from nature will not have trans fats and are healthy choices: fruits, veggies, beans, fish, poultry, tofu, whole grains, breads, and some cereals.
3. Foods likely to have trans fats: fast foods, packaged foods, margarines, donuts, muffins, crackers, cookies, cakes, pies, and microwave popcorn.
4. Use liquid vegetable oils when you cook, in small quantities.
5. Avoid fried foods!
6. Remember this...the stiffer and harder fats are, the more they clog your arteries!
Says Diane: "It's all about lifestyle changes, not diets!"
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