Know Your Trans Fats Basics

You may have heard allot lately about trans fats but did you know that there are in-fact, different types of trans fats.

First there are the naturally occurring trans fats found in foods such as dairy and meat.

Then there’s the artificial kind (also called trans fatty acids) found in fried foods, baked goods, biscuits, packaged foods, microwave popcorn, and some margarines.

These artificial trans fats occur when liquid oils are processed and essentially hardened into “partially hydrogenated” fats, to add firmness, texture and shelf life to different food products. And it is these artificial trans fats that are believed to increase LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and decreases HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol).

But wait, there are also fully-hydrogenated oils used in food processing, and these are different again, as these oils are virtually free from trans fats.

So it’s always good to be aware of the distinction between partially and fully hydrogenated oils.

Why? Because all products are not made equal and the simple fact is that limiting your intake of all fats including trans fats, saturated fats and unsaturated fats is important for a healthy diet.

So take the time to always read your food labels carefully especially the nutritional panels and don’t assume anything, as even butter contains up to 4g trans fat per 100 grams.

And finally, consider opting for cooking, baking and spreading alternatives in your every day that are made with cholesterol free oils and are also virtually trans fat free. A good example is the Nuttelex range of plant based spreads.

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