Most doctors believe that trans fats are the worst types of fats you can have; not only do they increase the levels of your bad cholesterol (LDL), but also decrease the levels of your good cholesterol (HDL).
It is possibly the worst combination for your heart, as higher levels of LDL and lower levels of HDL up your risk of heart disease, which can potentially be fatal.
So What Really Is Trans Fat?
It is a type of fat that is produced in manufacturing units by mixing hydrogen with vegetable oil, a combination that increases the shelf life of food products. Some of the most common foods that include trans fat are donuts, French fries, cakes, packaged cookies and ready-to-eat meals, margarine and even microwave popcorn.
In the US, food labels can actually sneak in more trans fat than they show, as a product that contains up to 0.5g trans fat can mention it as 0g trans fat. That’s a red flag right there.
How To Avoid Consuming Trans Fat
1. Always Check The Ingredient List
Even though the label might say zero trans fat, check the ingredient list and look for partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, which will indicate the presence of trans fat.
2. Choose Fresher Foods (With A Shorter Shelf Life)
It’s always best to buy fresh but if you must buy packaged foods, choose those that have a relatively shorter shelf life, as they will contain less trans fat compared to ones with longer shelf life.
3. Avoid Packaged Bakery Goods
Instead of picking up packaged cookies, crackers and even margarine, buy them fresh from a local baker to avoid the addition of trans fat. Better still, refer to our healthy recipes and prepare your own low-fat cakes and cookies at home.
4. Go For The Lean Cuts
Some amount of trans fat is naturally present in meats and dairy products. Opt for leaner cuts with fewer ribbons of fat.
5. Use Natural Peanut Butter
One of the biggest sources of trans fat is peanut butter that is artificially produced, so go for one that is all-natural.