Thursday, January 16, 2014

Trans Fats: Simplified

Trans Fats can be a confusing subject.  Most people know that trans fats are bad for you, but they don't know what trans fats is, or why it is bad for you.  This post will answer questions many people have about trans fats, but in simple easy-to-understand English.

What are trans fats?

Trans fats= regular fats + hydrogen.

You take regular fat, add hydrogen, and BAM.  You have trans fat.

Why are trans fats bad for you?

Trans fats are bad for you because your body only has regular fat, not regular fat + hydrogen.

Because your body does not naturally have any trans fats, it cannot break them down.  This means that if trans fats enters your body, it will stay in your body.

What do trans fats do that is so harmful?

Trans fats raises your level of BAD cholesterol (LDL) and lowers your level of GOOD cholesterol (HDL). 

Trans fats also raises the amount of lipoprotein you have.  Increased amount of lipoprotein, along with increased amount of BAD cholesterol, can lead to heart attacks.  

If trans fats are so harmful, why do companies use them in their foods?

Companies use trans fats in their foods because it is cheaper, and makes the food last longer.

How can you tell if a food has trans fats in it?

Look for these ingredients: Partially Hydrogenated Oil or Hydrogenated Oil.  If you see either one of these ingredients, it means the food has trans fat in it.  

*Remember, just because it says 0 Grams Trans fats on the Nutrition Facts section DOES NOT mean the food has no trans fats.*

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