In today’s world, it pays to be informed, especially when it comes to the things you eat. Modern times have made it easier for food manufacturers to cut corners and place harmful additives, preservatives, and chemicals into our favorite dishes. One of the main concerns for this generation is the influx of trans fats into popular recipes. This not-so-welcome change in the way we eat may end up having some serious consequences if we do not do our homework in time.
What Is Trans Fat?
It is important to know that a trans fat (sometimes referred to as a trans fatty acid) is a synthetic ingredient that is easily avoidable. This material is typically created during an industrialized process wherein hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oil to develop something more solid. Sometimes called “partially hydrogenated oils,” they are unfortunately showing up in many of today’s most popular products.
How Does It Affect the Body?
These fats should be avoided at all costs, especially when you consider the damage they do to your heart. Because these harmful fatty acids raise a person’s LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol, they also raise that person’s risk of developing heart disease later on in life. On top of that, they actually lower HDL (or “good”) cholesterol, which could trigger a complete reversal of health over time. This risk is such a concern that the FDA has recently moved to ban food manufacturers from using synthetic trans fats without first being granted special approval.
How Can I Avoid Trans Fat?
Staying away from these fats may seem like an imposing task at first, but it is easier than you might think. You need to know how to read the labels of the foods you buy, making note of any synonyms for “trans fats,” such as the two mentioned previously. Pay attention to how the food’s ingredients are listed, and ask questions if need be, so that you can make healthier choices at the grocery store and in restaurants.
Unfortunately, the FDA’s ban on trans fats is not yet final, but progress has been made. Now all foods have to list any of these fats on their labels before they can be sold in stores. Still, alternative verbiage is often used, so it is of monumental importance to stay on top of the loopholes that are being used to help food manufacturers cut corners for an extra buck.