Trans Fat

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Deep Frying

Trans Fats (TRAFA) and  Deep Frying

Just about every low carb diet, warns against deep frying in partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and using trans fats. This is because trans fats can raise your risk of Type II Diabetes by 40% or more.

You might think those French fries are bad for you because they're made from potato, full of carbs. But the really dangerous part is that the cook dips those carb-sticks into a vat of boiling trans fats, and those trans fats can seriously harm your health.

Trans Fats are a relatively new creation. "In the Old Days", fats used in cooking came from animals.

These fats were tasty but went rancid quickly. One of the great breakthroughs for cooks around the world in the 1900s was the creation of non-animal fat - fats that were great for cooking with, but wouldn't poison you if handled improperly.

Trans Fats are loved by processed food creators because they can let a food product sit on the shelves for months (or years) without going bad.

But as with much in life, there's good and bad with everything.

TRANS FATS: TRUTH IN LABELING?

When the new labeling laws go into effect, the FDA will still allow manufacturers to list "zero" under trans fats if there is less than gram per serving of the food. They will also permit manufacturers to say "zero trans fats" on the label if a serving size contains a half gram or less. This is a bad rule that needs changing. With small and unrealistic "serving sizes" on the nutrition facts label, each of which contains just under a gram, you could easily wind up consuming a gram or two in a typical portion. The regulation allows manufacturers to state that their product is "trans fat free" when in fact, it may not be.

The only way to tell whether a product contains trans fats is to read the list of ingredients. If you see the words "partially hydrogenated" there, the product contains trans fats. There are no exceptions. Any product that has partially hydrogenated oil as an ingredient contains trans fats, regardless of what the label hype says. Only if the package clearly says "no hydrogenated oils" or "hydrogenated oil free" can you be assured of a trans fatty acid-free product. About 40% of supermarket foods contain trans fats.

According to the FDA, its in 95% of cookies, 80% of frozen breakfast foods, 75% of snacks and chips, 70% of cake mixes, and almost half of all cereals!

Even so called "healthy" products may not be exempt. Take Benecol, a Soft-spread substitute for margarine or butter that is advertised as being "good-for-your-heart". It actually contains a half gram of trans fats per 1 teaspoon serving, allowing the manufacturer to say "zero" grams. Recommendations for this product, which is endorsed by many mainstream organizations, are to use it "liberally". If you used a couple of teaspoons several times a day, you could easily consume 14 grams a week of trans fats just from Benecol alone!

And in case you were wondering what difference a few little grams of trans fats can make, just consider that a July 2002 report from the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Science declared that the upper limit for trans-fats in the diet should be zero. The consumption of just 2-3 grams a day of trans fats increases the risk of coronary heart disease by 21 percent.

If you need a quick review of why trans fats are the most damaging fat on the planet, here it is: Trans fats cause significant lowering of HDL ("good") cholesterol and significant increases in LDL ("bad") cholesterol. They make the arteries more rigid; they contribute to clogging; they contribute to insulin resistance and to type 2 diabetes.

According to noted trans-fat researcher Dr. Mary Enig, trans fats from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils have adverse effects on heart disease, cancer, diabetes, immunity, reproduction and lactation and obesity.

In a Harvard study of 85000 women, there was a fifty percent greater incidence of heart disease among those women consuming the highest amount of trans fats as compared to those consuming the lowest. (Willet WC, Stampfer MJ, et al, "Intake of trans fatty acids and risk of coronary heart disease among women" Lancet 1993; 341: 581-585

To avoid trans-fats you need to go beyond the nutrition facts label and look to the list of ingredients. If you see "partially hydrogenated" anything in there, put the product down and step away from the shelf!

Trans Fats have been shown in study after study to lower the amount of good cholesterol you have in your system, raise the amounts of bad cholesterol, and increase your risk of diabetes up to 40% or more.

Diets high in TRANS fats have been proven to cause a high level of bad cholesterol - the LDL cholesterol. So it is important to cut out junk food and processed foods from your diet.

Any oil that says "hydrogenated vegetable oil" or "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil" should be avoided at all costs!

Foods to avoid include:

  • margarine

  • vegetable shortening

  • partially hydrogenated vegetable oil

  • deep-fried chips

  • French fries

  • onion rings

  • processed foods

  • commercial baked goods

  • snack foods

If you can't fry in margarine or vegetable shortening, what are your options? Check out the list of Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated Good Fats. They're healthy and have been used for cooking for thousands of years.

If you're out at a restaurant, simply ask what they deep fry their food in. It's a reasonable question, and the answer will help you decide just what to order. Not only that, but maybe the cook will get the message and be sure to deep fry in something healthy!

Healing the Damage of Trans Fatty Acids

If you've been living a life of fast food consumption, the huge amount of trans fatty acids and hydrogenated oils you've consumed has clogged your arteries and perhaps damaged your body. How do you undo this damage?

TRAFAs and hydrogenated oils raise your bad LDL cholesterol and even lower the amounts of good HDL cholesterol. This leads to risk of diabetes, heart attack, and is even linked to cancer and other immune illnesses.

So let's say you are now ready to try to detoxify your body. You are cutting out all TRAFAs and hydrogenated oils from your diet. But how do you help your body heal from the damage that was done?

Eat Good Oils and Fatty Acids

One of THE most important things to remember in your cholesterol level is that it is about a ratio. It is critical to have a good HDL rating and a low LDL rating.

So you want to make sure you get your HDL rating up. To do this you need to eat healthy oils. These oils include the Omega-3 and Omega-6 oils, such as fish oil and olive oil.

Some have called a regular intake of omega oils being as good as "liquid Drano" for cleaning out the harmful LDL from your arteries. More about GOOD Fatty Acids

Vitamins for Healthy HDL

It's always critical to take a good complete set of vitamins daily, and to drink 8 glasses of water to give your body the nutrients it needs to flush its system of harmful materials.

But especially critical for maintaining healthy HDL levels are niacin and chromium. Make sure that you get supplements of these vitamins if your regular vitamin does not contain them.

Glass of Wine Daily

Always talk with your doctor, but many studies have shown how wine helps to keep your arteries clear and bring many beneficial health results.

Wine has a direct impact on your cholesterol levels, in part due to the antioxidants naturally found in wine.

Enjoy Almonds

Almonds in particular have been shown to reduce levels of bad cholesterol in your blood. They have healthy monounsaturated fats in them which are very important for the body to work properly.

Use That Garlic

It's not just vampires that are scared off by garlic! Garlic is also shown to be GREATLY helpful in handling bad cholesterol problems. In fact in a study in Germany, those eating garlic had their cholesterol levels drop 12% in 12 weeks. Stir up that garlic chicken and enjoy garlic in your other dishes! Garlic Lowers your Cholesterol

Moderate Exercise

If you exercise, this helps to burn away bad cholesterol and build up levels of good cholesterol in your system. Also, muscle is far more calorie-burning than fat is, so that helps you maintain a healthy weight more easily.

Finally there are MANY health hazards caused by being overweight. The more in shape you are, the longer you will live. And the better your life will be WHILE you live.

If you follow a healthy diet with lots of water, lots of fresh vegetables and healthy oils, you should be able to cleanse your system of the buildup of bad cholesterol and loss of good cholesterol that TRAFAs and hydrogenated oils caused.


The above opinionated views and information serves to educated and informed consumer. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. It should not replaced professional advise and consultation. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions

Canola Oil
Cooking Oil
Fats and Oils
Saturated Fats
Trans Fat
The Transition

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