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Trans Fats: Risks and Avoidance

Trans fats, also known as trans-fatty acids, have gained a reputation as one of the most harmful types of fats in our diet. They are created by the process of hydrogenation, which turns liquid oils into solid fats and gives them a longer shelf life. However, research has linked trans fats to a range of health problems, including:

  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • cancer

In this blog, we will explore the risks of trans fats, how to identify them in your food, and provide tips on how to avoid them for better health.

What are Trans Fats and Why are They Harmful?

These are unsaturated fats that are chemically modified to become more solid and stable at room temperature. They are commonly found in processed foods like:

  • margarine
  • fried foods
  • baked goods
  • snack foods

They are also used in many fast-food chains and restaurants.

The problem with trans fats is that they can raise levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease. Trans fats also contribute to inflammation and can lead to insulin resistance, which can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), consuming just 5 grams of trans fats per day can increase the risk of heart disease by 23 percent. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting trans-fat intake to less than 1 percent of total daily calories.

How to Identify Trans Fats in Your Food

It can be listed on food labels as “partially hydrogenated oils” or “hydrogenated oils.” However, food manufacturers can list products as having 0 grams of trans fats if they contain less than 0.5 grams per serving.

To identify trans fats in your food, look for these ingredients in the ingredients list and avoid foods that contain them. Choose foods that are labeled as “trans-fat-free” or “no trans fats.”

How to Avoid Trans Fats

Eat a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods. Choose foods like:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • whole grains
  • lean proteins
  • healthy fats like nuts, seeds, and avocado

When shopping for packaged foods, read the nutrition labels carefully and avoid products that contain partially hydrogenated oils or hydrogenated oils. Instead, look for products that are labeled as “trans-fat-free” or “no trans fats.”

When eating out, choose restaurants that use healthier cooking oils like olive oil, canola oil, or coconut oil. Avoid fried foods and opt for grilled, baked, or steamed options instead.

Click here to see the full scientific article from healthline.

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All information and recommendations on this site are for information only and are not intended as formal medical advice from your physician or other health care professionals. This information is also not intended as a substitute for information contained on any product label or packaging. Diagnosis and treatment of any health issues, use of any prescription medications, and any forms of medical treatments should not be altered by any information on this site without confirmation by your medical team. Any diet, exercise, or supplement program could have dangerous side effects if you have certain medical conditions; consult with your healthcare providers before making any change to your longevity lifestyle if you suspect you have a health problem. Do not stop taking any medication without consulting with the prescribing doctor.