Why you should avoid trans-fats
Trans-fats have been in the news a lot lately. If you read nutritional labels on food, you’ve noticed that trans-fats are now listed under “Nutrition Facts.” But what are they and why are they so controversial?
They’re created by taking perfectly good vegetable oils and heating them, running electrical current through them, and bubbling hydrogen gas through them. This process is called hydrogenating, and it creates hydrogenated oils.
Manufacturers love hydrogenated oils because they have a long shelf life. But your body hates them because they clog your arteries and increase your low density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad" cholesterol, while lowering levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), known as "good" cholesterol.
Think saturated fats are bad? Trans-fats are worse, according to a study published in the medical journal Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology in July of 2001. Researchers found that trans-fats increase your risk of a heart attack more than saturated fats do.
What kinds of food ingredients are high in trans-fats?
Is there a safe level of consumption of trans-fats? Not according to the Institute of Medicine. They studied the issue in depth, and instead of recommending an upper limit, their conclusion was that intake of trans-fats should be a low as possible.
Gerry Morton, CEO of EnergyFirst, has these suggestions for cutting trans-fats out of your diet:
As always, when you are in doubt, read the Nutrition Facts label on the food container. Food manufacturers used to be able to hide the amount of trans-fats in foods, but as of January 1, 2006, nutritional hide-and-seek is over for trans-fats—they must be listed.
Gerry Morton, CEO of EnergyFirst, is an experienced athlete who has competed in 30+ marathons and 4 Ironman triathlons. Gerry is an excellent source of information on nutrition, supplementation and effective exercise. Since 1997, he has been educating and motivating others on how to attain peak performance.