Trans fats are created when a hydrogen atoms is added to the unsaturated oil to make it solid, separable and more flavoursome. This type of fats are used because they are inexpensive and helps to extend the shelf life of these products. But this benefits comes with a health risks.
Sources of Trans Fat:
Natural : Small amounts of trans fat occurs naturally in the ruminants like beef, lamb, and dairy products.
Industrial TF: iTF are linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and they appear in :
- Packaged, processed, and prepared foods like cookies, crackers, cakes, muffins, pie crusts, pizza dough, frozen dinners.
- Some stick margarine and vegetable shortening.
- Commercially available fried foods, including donuts, French fries, take away, chicken nuggets.
- Drinks such as hot chocolate.
Why is it bad for you?
- Trans- fats have more severe effects than saturated fat as they not only raise “bad” (LDL) cholesterol but also reduce “good” (HDL) cholesterol, raise triglycerides along with raising total cholesterol to HDL ratio.
- The overall result of this is, the development of “Atheroma”, a fatty material within the walls of the arteries which blocks the blood supply to brain and heart leading to stroke and heart attack.
- The risk of developing “silent killer”, diabetes increases if you are consuming trans- fat rich food.
Recommendation by health authority:
The World Health Organisation recommends to reduce trans- fats to less than 1% of your total caloric intake.
For e.g., if you are following a 2000 calorie diet, you should consume less than 2 grams of trans fats in a day.
How I can avoid it?
By carefully reading nutritional label’s ( for trans- fat and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (PHVO) ) and substituting with trans- fat free food options (which contains less than half gram of TF) you can help your heart to stay healthy.
|Try to avoid||Choose|
|Fast food||Thin chips||Thick wedsges/baked potato|
|Indian Food||Samosa , Wada, TikkiVanaspati products such as Dalda in cooking||Kababs with salad.Instead use small amount of pure Ghee|
|Prepared food||Frozen, packaged food||Freshly made meals|
|Chinese||Deep fried dishes such as spring roll, noodles||Stir fried dishes, soups, boiled noodles.|