Trans fats are also contributing to the obesity pandemic, mainly due to the fact that they have been shown to cause belly fat. Although your favorite snack food or light butter substitute my have fewer calories, if it contains ANY trans fat, your "eating healthy" efforts will suffer - and ultimately, so will your health!
Why are Trans Fats So Bad for Us?
Our bodies are unable to respond to trans fats in the same way they do to animal or plain, unaltered vegetable oils. In other words, trans fats are synthetic and our bodies are not able to break them down as quickly or sometimes even at all. This means that when we eat trans fats, they are literally floating around in our blood stream longer than they should. This leads to damage to our metabolic systems (starting in our cells), and leaves thick plaque layers in our vessels.
Why are Trans Fats So Bad for Our Waistlines?
Trans Fats also don’t curb our appetites the way that real and healthy fats do. Therefore, we end up overeating and reaching for more. Because our bodies do not respond to trans fats in a normal manner, they make it harder for our bodies to use the glucose already in our blood stream causing insulin resistance. This impedes the use of fat reserves for energy, leading to the inability of our body to burn stored body fat = NO WEIGHT LOSS!
IT DOESN'T TAKE MUCH TO DO A LOT OF DAMAGE:
Negative effects of trans fats have been documented at levels as low as1% to 3% of total energy intake: This is only 20-60 calories (2g-7g) for a 2,000 calorie diet. That can equate to the smear of light margarine on your whole grain toast!
Trans fats are so detrimental to health, that the World Health Organization and the American Heart Association recommend that less than 1% of daily calories should come from trans fats. (That’s less than 20 calories for a 2000 calorie diet.) I RECOMMEND WE GET ZERO TRANS FATS - WHY RISK YOUR HEALTH?
TRANS FAT IS STILL HIDDEN IN OUR FOOD:
A manufacturer can claim zero trans-fat on their labels if one serving contains less than 1/2 a gram. If you’ve ever noticed, the serving sizes of many foods are considerably smaller than the amount you actually eat, as much as four times—so you could be getting a significant amount of trans-fat, even when the package says “Zero Trans Fat!” on its label. This is why reading the ingredients is as essential as reading the nutritional facts.
If a package says zero trans-fat, read the ingredients, you may be suprised.
INGREDIENTS THAT CONTAIN TRANS FATS:
The primary source of trans fat is partially hydrogenated oil. Manufacturers can use just about any plant (also fish oil), but most often choose corn or soy because they’re inexpensive. Hydrogenation is a process where they alter the molecular structure of the oil to lengthen its shelf-life and/or to make it thicker, so it can be spread on toast for example. (Ex. I can’t believe it’s not butter)
So What Should You Look For?
HYDROGENATED or PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED + OIL (vegetable, soybean, corn, etc…)
SHORTENING–this always contains trans fats
Use caution with:
MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES OF FATTY ACIDS–
These are modifications of fats and are produced as additives for use as emulsifiers and thickeners in foods like yogurt or whipped topping.
INTERESTERIFIED FAT (STEARIC ACID-RICH FAT)
This modified fat is also being used as a trans fat replacement, particularly in fast food restaurants. There is evidence that indicates that this fat may be just as harmful as trans fats.
NOTE: If labeled “fully hydrogenated,” then the oil is safe and free of trans fats. But if it only says “hydrogenated” it may contain partially hydrogenated oil mixed in with it.