How To Cut Down On Trans Fat?

Organizations around the world have stepped up their actions against trans fat following New York’s move to ban anything more than tiny amounts of trans fat at the city’s some 20,000 restaurants. Denmark limits the trans fat content of food to 2 percent of the fat. Global food companies like Nestle, Kraft and PepsiCo have also cut out or drastically reduced the amount of trans fat present in their products.

Trans fat is now blamed as bad stuff that increases LDL (bad cholesterol) and simultaneously reduces HDL (good cholesterol). Foods with trans fat are everywhere. Besides candy, noodles, cookies, chips, there are hundreds of processed supermarket products contain it in different amounts. And the worst thing is that these foods are both favored by children and adults.

According to health professionals, people should limit their intake of trans fat to less than 1 percent of their daily total energy. A simple calculation will show that an average person who takes 2,000 calories a day should eat no more than 3 g of trans fat.

Experts have suggested few pointers to help you cut down trans fat in your diet:

1. Watch what you eat-
For instance, store-bought frozen French fries contain 2.91 g of trans fat which is almost a day’s maximum intake. 2-and-a-half pieces of regular biscuits made with trans fat or 2 1/2 tablespoons of hard margarine in a day can easily exceed the daily limit of 3 g of trans fat. Many fast-food restaurants also use liquid shortening to fry their dishes, loading them with trans fat. So, limit your intake of fast food to no more than twice a week.

2. Be careful how you cook-
At home, you introduce trans fat by reusing the oil. So, keep deep-frying to a minimum and throw away the oil once it has been used.

3. Read labels like a hawk-
Drop products with these words: partially hydrogenated vegetable oil or hydrogenated vegetable oil. Go for items that are lower in trans fat (less than 0.05 g of trans fat per serving) as well as saturated fat, sodium and sugar, and higher in fiber, where applicable.

But remember, not all fats are bad. For example, trans fat is also found in natural foods such as beef, lamb, and in dairy products. But studies show that this naturally occurring trans fat does not harm the body as what the man-made trans fat does.

Polysaturated fats and monounsaturated fats such as olive oil and canola oil can be part of a healthy diet. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish, seeds and nuts are known for keeping the heart healthy and can reduce inflammation in the body.

It is best to choose foods that are low in trans and saturated fats as part of a healthy diet in order to be healthy and stay away from heart disease.

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About The Author, Ng Peng Hock