Did you know that regular consumption of food with excess trans fats can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a rise in bad cholesterol levels in your blood, and heart diseases? Do you choose to modify your diet and avoid trans fats? Here are some basic details of trans fats and foods that contain them.
A type of unsaturated fats called trans fats occur in trace amounts naturally in food but in large amounts in processed foods, baked goods, and fried foods. The trans fats that are not naturally occurring in food are artificial trans fats, that are dangerous to health if consumed regularly or in large amounts. Artificial trans fats are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them solid at room temperature. Such oils are called ‘partially hydrogenated oils’ and are a primary ingredient in processed foods.
Artificial trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils are found in commercial baked goods, frozen pizza, shortening, nondairy coffee creamer, stick margarine, french fries, cereal bars, crackers, snack pudding, microwave popcorn, and snack mixes. They are also used in deep fryers at many commercial food outlets. If you’re looking to avoid the consumption of trans fats for a healthier life, here are some tips:
- Read the nutrition label on food packages and avoid buying food that has partially hydrogenated fats/oils and shortening.
- Choose food products with the lowest amount of trans fats.
- Choose healthy oils for cooking.
- Avoid deep-fried foods when eating out. Instead choose grilled, steamed, or broiled food instead.
- When using margarine, choose soft, non-hydrogenated margarine instead of shortening or stick margarine.
- Choose home-cooked and unprocessed food.
- Limit commercially baked food.
A healthy and balanced diet with a reduced intake of food that’s not so nutritious helps you stay healthy and strong.
How do you manage to take care of your diet during a busy day? Do share your tips in the comments.