Why Are Trans Fats So Bad To Eat?

Large iced doughnuts

Trans fats have become a popular topic of discussion when it comes to healthy nutrition. Trans fats are one of those things that didn’t even exist in our foods years ago.

But, today, they are in many foods, and can cause serious health problems. One way to improve your health, and likely the size of your waistline, is to work to remove trans fats from your diet.

Trans fats are not normally naturally occurring. Though a small amount of trans fatty acid is in meats, most of the trans fats we consume today were actually invented by food scientists, who began to hydrogenate oils, and put them into foods as a way to help them withstand food production better and have a longer shelf life.

It may have sounded like a good idea at the time, but the trans fatty acids they produced has proven very unhealthy to our bodies.

Why You Should Avoid Trans Fats

Trans fats are bad for our bodies because they increase our levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) the same way that saturated fats, like those found in butter and cream can.

However, researchers have found that these “fake” fats are even more dangerous to our cholesterol levels and our risk of heart disease than natural saturated fats.

In addition to raising the level of bad cholesterol and total cholesterol in the bloodstream, trans fats also reduce our HDL (good cholesterol) levels.

In addition, trans fats may play a bigger role in obesity than regular fats. When our diets are made up of a large amount of trans fats, we may gain weight more easily.

Foods Containing Trans Fats

Chocolate biscuits contain high levels of trans fats

Chocolate biscuits contain high levels of trans fats

Many packaged and processed foods and fast foods contain trans fats. To sift them all out, you need to read labels and learn which categories of foods are most likely to contain trans fats.

Foods Containing High Levels of Trans Fats:

  • Cakes and pies
  • Canned biscuits
  • Donuts
  • Fast Food
  • Instant coffee and latte beverages
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Packaged cookies
  • Packaged crackers
  • Packaged Muffins

Trans fats are now listed separately in the fats section of food labels. Be sure to check these labels and buy products that are trans fat free.

How To Avoid Eating Trans Fats

When it comes to eating fast food, you can almost bet there are some trans fats in nearly anything you choose. But, fast food restaurants are required to provide nutrition information to you on request, so it is possible to scope out the amount of trans fats in fast food before you eat it.

The key to removing trans fats from your life is to watch out for them, and to cook fresh foods whenever possible. If most of your meals are prepared from scratch, there’s much less chance that they’ll contain trans fats.

As a result of the overwhelming evidence that trans fats are bad for us, some food companies are beginning to remove them from their products. This may result in a shorter shelf life for the foods, but it’s almost certain to result in a longer life for the people consuming those foods.

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