Artificial trans fats (or trans fatty acids) are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. The primary dietary source for trans fats in processed food is “partially hydrogenated oils.”
“Zero Trans fat!”
“Now with 50% less Trans fat!”
You see these statements on all kinds of food products on the grocery shelves. They’re literally everywhere, but I don’t see any explanations telling me what trans-fat is, do you?
To be honest, the awareness of the trans-fat phenomenon almost came out of nowhere. Suddenly, we were getting slapped over the head with the importance of trans fats being removed from most our favorite foods, but why?
Well, to end the insanity that is the whole “avoid trans fats like the plague” hysteria that’s out there, I’m going to explain what trans fats are and why you should avoid them.
Trans fats are one of the four main types of fats that the body absorbs through foods, mainly foods cooked with hydrogenated oils.
Trans fats are great for the manufacturer because they help to preserve the shelf life of some products, but they can wreak havoc on the body. Whenever you eat foods that are high in trans fats, they damage the body at the cell level and that makes it very hard for the cells to process things like sodium, potassium, calcium, and even magnesium. It also weakens the body and leaves a very vulnerable to free radicals and it can even make some health conditions worse, like cancer, arthritis, and primarily, heart disease.
As a matter of fact, trans fats do the most damage to the body by raising the level of bad cholesterol that your body keeps in its system. By raising the levels of bad cholesterol in your body, you and I are increasing our chances of getting heart disease in the future, or, if you already have a heart disease of some kind, then trans fats will make it worse.
Now is the time to shift away from frying so many foods that you eat to trying other forms of cooking your foods that don’t require as much cooking oil as other foods do. You’ll start to see a lot of people that will grill, steam, poach, or even braise their food to cut back on cooking with oil so much.
That’s the main reason why you and I have seen so many labels on food products stating how much trans-fat food products contain in them. To be more health conscience, we all need to shift away from so much fried food that puts trans fats into our body and move to healthier ways of cooking our favorite foods so that we can avoid the problems that come along with consuming trans-fat and sabotaging our weight loss goals.