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How Bad is Trans Fat is for your heart and health?

Trans fat is the worst kind of fat to eat. They raise "bad" cholesterol and lower "good" cholesterol. Trans fats, which are also called trans-fatty acids, are different from other types of fat found in food.


A diet loaded with trans fats increases the risk of heart disease, the leading killer of adults. The more trans fats eaten, the greater the risk of heart and blood vessel disease.

Trans fats are so bad that the FDA has told food producers not to add the main source of artificial trans fats to foods and drinks.

In the U.S., some countries and cities have cut back on or banned the use of trans fats.


The FDA thinks this move will save a lot of people from having heart attacks and dying each year.

There may still be some products that have added trans fats when the new law takes effect.


Here are some facts about trans fats and how to avoid them.

Trans fats: What are they?

Most trans fats are made by an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil, which makes the oil solid at room temperature. This makes the fat more stable.


Partially hydrogenated oil is cheap and less likely to go bad, so foods made with it have a longer shelf life than those made with other oils.

The oil in some deep fryers doesn't have to be changed as often as other oils do.


Some meat and dairy products have a small amount of trans fats that come from the food itself.


If you eat too many trans fats, it isn't clear how they will make you sick.


In your food, there are trans fats. The food that has partially hydrogenated oil in it can be found in a lot of different things, like:

Trans fats in your food

The manufactured form of trans fat, known as partially hydrogenated oil, can be found in a variety of food products, including:


  • Commercial baked goods, such as cakes, cookies and pies

  • Microwave popcorn

  • Frozen pizza

  • Refrigerated dough, such as biscuits and rolls

  • Fried foods, including french fries, doughnuts and fried chicken


How trans fats harm you

Adding trans fats to food makes people more likely to have heart attacks, strokes, and type 2 diabetes, which can all be very dangerous.

Also, trans fats have a bad effect on cholesterol.


There are two main types of cholesterol:


Cholesterol in low-density lipoprotein (LDL)

Bad cholesterol can build up in the walls of arteries, making them hard and narrow. This is called LDL, or "bad cholesterol."


High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

HDL, also known as "good," cholesterol, picks up extra cholesterol and brings it back to the liver.


Trans fats raise LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol, which can raise the risk of heart attack or stroke, so they should be used with care.


It is important to look at the labels on the food you buy


In the United States if a food has less than 0.5 grams of trans fats in a serving, the food label can read 0 grams trans fats.


Some foods that were made before the FDA banned artificial trans fats may still be on the market. You should check the ingredients list to see if the food is made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.


If it does, that means the food contains some trans fats, even if the amount is below 0.5 grams.


These hidden trans fats can add up quickly, especially if you eat a lot of different foods that have less than 0.5 grams of trans fat in each serving.


What should I do?

Not all foods without trans fats are healthy.

Food makers might substitute other unhealthy ingredients for trans fats.


Some of these ingredients, such as tropical oils — coconut, palm kernel and palm oils — contain a lot of saturated fat.


Your total cholesterol goes up when you eat a lot of fat. In a healthy diet, about 20% to 35% of total daily calories can come from fat.

Try to keep saturated fat to less than 10% of your daily calories.


You should choose monounsaturated fat over saturated fat because it's better for your body. Olive, peanut, and canola oils all have this type of fat.


Nuts, fish, and other foods that don't have a lot of fat are also good choices for foods with healthy fats.

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My name is Steven Goldstein

With over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry, I have worked with clients of all ages and fitness levels. From professional athletes to individuals aiming to lose weight, I have helped countless people achieve their goals and improve their overall health through customized training and nutrition plans.

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