Trans fat also known as Trans fatty acid is found in hydrogenated oils where through the process of hydrogenation the oil becomes more solid or thick. This type of Trans fat is found mostly in junk foods like vegetable/Non-Vegan burgers, pizzas, cakes, pastries, doughnuts etc. or in other processed foods.
Kinds of food products, which have Trans fat
Artificial trans -fat can be found in majority of processed food such as cakes, biscuits, doughnuts, crackers; it is found that Doughnuts contains 40% of Trans fat. Trans fat can also occur naturally in animal fat and dairy products but these Trans fat are in much smaller concentrations than that can be found in processed foods. Trans fat does not have any nutritional value but contribute to an increase in the levels of LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) also known as “bad cholesterol.”
Trans fat is also found to decrease the levels of HDL (High Density Lipoprotein –also known as Good Cholesterol) leading to an increase in the risk of heart disease. The kind of food products that have high trans fat levels include food products such as deep fried foods such as fried chicken, dessert mixes, Dough nuts, stick margarine, refrigerated dough in the form of precut biscuits, cinnamon rolls, cookies etc.
Story behind the label of packed food
Food labeling of packed food plays an important role in protecting the health and wellness of the consumers. The food labels of the packed food provide lots of information about the packaged food that is ultimately consumed by the buyer. Every country has its own standards or laws prescribed for packed foods keeping into account the safety of substances added to the packed food. For instance, in United States – The Food and Drug Administration or FDA/USFDA is the federal agency that is responsible for protecting and promoting the health of its citizens through the regulation and supervision of food safety.
Food labeling is important for most of the prepared or packed items such as frozen food, cheese, canned and breads, shakes, drinks, desserts and other processed food items. The FDA has made it mandatory for food manufacturers to list Trans fat on Nutrition Facts and Supplement Fact panels/labels so that consumers can know how much Trans fat is there on the packaged food to make heart healthy food choices thereby helping them reduce the risks associated with Coronary Heart Disease or CHD. Through a glance of food labels of the packed food, the consumer can avoid those food items that have more than the required standards of Trans fat per serving.
Effects of Trans fat
The manufacturers of food products are widely using Trans fat in their food products because these fats are easy to produce, inexpensive and makes the shelf life of the food product longer. Trans fat gives the food a desirable taste and texture. In addition, oils with Trans fats can be used multiple times in commercial fryers. Nevertheless, there effects of trans fat on humans are disastrous.
- Trans fat contributes to clogged arteries, which are signs of heart disease thereby increasing the risk of both heart attack and stroke.
- It contributes to the rising of bad cholesterol or LDL that result in building up of fatty plaque in arteries.
- Further, research has shown that Tans fats are also responsible for raising the risk of diabetes.
Your eating habits
The eating habits of a person do contribute to his/her healthy life. Therefore, it is important for you to limit the consumption of food that contains trans fats and saturated fats. For those people who have elevated levels of LDL cholesterol, health experts do advise that these people should minimize their intake of both Trans fat and saturated fats. Before consuming any food, it is better to look at the number of calories the food gives as well as its serving size. You should avoid bad eating habits such as eating junk food, leading a dormant life style and indulging in stressful activities.
Healthy heart tip
For a healthy heart, the following tips will go a long way for living healthy life–
- Doing at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activities/exercises,
- Cutting on Trans fat food items and other saturated food products,
- Giving up smoking or other forms of alcohol intake,
- Reading the nutrition labels on food products that helps in checking the amount of food that you are eating that are high in fat, salt and added sugars.
These tips would help the person in eating food that is good for his/her heart to live a healthy life style.