Facts About Trans Fat

What does potato chips, a candy bar, and doughnuts have in common? These everyday foods contained trans fats until recently. What is all the hype? The most asked question is what is trans fat?
Trans fat comes from hydrogen being added to the vegetable oil, or hydrogenation. Hydrogenation allows these foods, such as potato chips, to keep their flavor. Until recent years, this type of fat was contained in various margarines, cookies, snack foods, among others. In addition to the trans fat, they were cooked in partially hydrogenated oils.

Although trans fat may keep the flavor in the food, it has a negative impact on the human body. The LDL cholesterol level becomes higher, which increases the chance of having coronary heart disease, or CHD. In the United States, consumers take in approximately four to five times the amount of saturated fats in their diets as trans fat. This is part of the hype.

According to the new label requirement of the Food and Drug Administration, if dietary supplements have a significant amount of trans and/or saturated fats, it is required to list the amount on the Supplement Facts panel. An example of this type of dietary supplement is the Power Bar, which is an energy bar. If individuals insist on monitoring their fat intake, these are a few suggestions:

Instead of eating foods with saturated and/or trans fat, substitute them with monounsaturated and polysaturated fats, which do not allow the LDL cholesterol levels to increase and have beneficial factors, but only in moderation. Good sources of monounsaturated and polysaturated fat are canola oil, and nuts.
Use vegetable oils and soft margarines since the saturated and trans fat amounts are reduced compared to solid shortenings and hard margarines.

It is best to eat lean meats, as in chicken minus the skin and not fried, beef and pork that is lean. It should not be fried and there should be trimmed fat. Choose to eat whole grain foods, fruits and vegetables, which are always good choices. Other good choices include fish, fat free, or one percent dairy products.

Although most foods in the present time do not contain trans fat, there is still some out there that still has this type of fat. Recently, I purchased some donuts and the trans fat amount was 3 grams. The bottom line is read the Nutrition Facts label carefully.