Trans Fat: What's That!?

Trans Fat: What's That!?

Learning the jargon is part of the weight loss journey. Depending on the weight loss or healthy eating program you are on, you will learn lots of things about food and their ingredients.

Even after 2 years of being in the weight loss/healthy eating path, I still learn something new everyday.

One term I became aware of recently is: Trans Fat.

Trans fat is short for "trans fatty acid".

You can find it naturally in milk and animal fat, but in relatively small amounts. But most of the trans fat we consume is actually manufactured. It is made by partially hydrogenating vegetable fat.

Food manufacturers use trans fat because products last longer, and the flavor stability of foods, and there is no legal duty in countries like Australia for manufacturers to disclose its use in food labels.

That's concerning because studies show that trans fat is bad for your heart. It is actually worse than saturated fat (which manufacturers have to disclose in food labels). Countries such as Denmark have banned the sale of foods which trans fat is more than 2% of the total amount of fat. And the USA will require food manufacturers to disclose how much trans fat their food products contain.

Trans fat raises the level of bad cholesterol and lowers the levels of good cholesterol. The result? An effective recipe to increase the risk of a heart attack!

It is also related to arteriosclerosis, obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

You find it in meat pies, croissants, McNuggets and fries, cakes and biscuits, and many other fast foods. An Australian conducted by Choice Magazine found that many of these foods would not be allowed in Denmark because of their high content of trans fat.

You can avoid trans fat to a point. Avoid deep fried fast foods, cakes and cookies, and spreads high in saturated and trans fat.

That is difficult to do if manufacturers are not required to disclose it. That's one more reason to cook your own delicious low fat recipes. Check out my recipes... cook them and enjoy them. That's a good starting point!


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