Most doctors across the board agree that trans fat is just about the worst kind of fat you can eat. It is the most commonly agreed upon that large amounts of food with high trans fats, such as french fries, are toxic to the body. Trans fat is especially bad for your heart since it raises your bad cholesterol, the LDL, and lowers the “bad” cholesterol, the HDL.
Trans Fat Basics
Although some fat comes naturally in animal products like dairy and meats, trans fat does not usually occur naturally and instead comes as a result of the industrial process when vegetable oil is hydrogenated. This hydrogenated oil can be found in snacks, baked goods, refrigerator dough, fried goods, and in creamer and margarine. Learn to spot these and avoid them.
Trans Fat, Silent Killer
Since trans fat is high in LDL cholesterol, also known as low-density lipoprotein, it is more likely to make you prone to stroke, heart attack, or type 2 diabetes. There are ways to avoid trans fats, most of which involve a simple diet change.
Fatty Foods That Are Healthy
The healthiest option is to consume foods with monosaturated fats. This can be found in a lot of vegetable oils like olive, peanut, or canola oil. Although there are some foods sold in stores that claim they are free of trans fats, they aren’t necessarily good for you. They use substitutions like palm or coconut oil that have a lot of saturated fat. Saturated fats aren’t that great since they raise all of your cholesterol levels, including the LDL, which you don’t want.
Read Labels, Make Better Choices
While shopping for your next meal, it would be wise to pay attention to food labels. Keep an eye out for hydrogenated oil in the ingredient list, as this has high levels of trans fat in it. Be wary of the alleged “trans-fat-free” foods that have 0 as their trans fat content, as it is it is not required to report more than 0.5 grams of trans fat in the United States. Even these little numbers can add up.