Sunday, December 5, 2010

Trans Fat's Strong Link to Cancer, Diabetes & Heart Disease, and How to Avoid It

Trans Fat's Strong Link to Cancer, Diabetes & Heart Disease, and How to Avoid It

Trans fatty acid, also known as trans fat, is an artery-clogging fat formed when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil, a process called hydrogenation. Many manufacturers use this process of hydrogenation because it reduces cost and increases the shelf life and flavor stability of their food.

Hundreds of household food items such as commercially prepared baked goods and margarine, and commercially prepared fried foods like onion rings, contain significant amounts of trans fatty acids. Astoundingly, typical French fries contain about 40% trans fatty acids, many popular cookies and crackers have from 30 to 50%, and doughnuts include some 35 to 40% trans fat.

The healthiest choice for your family is to eat food as close to its natural state as possible.
Dangers of Trans Fat

Trans fat poses various serious health risks. It raises your body's level of bad cholesterol (LDL) while scrubbing away the good cholesterol (HDL) that keeps your arteries clean. Your arteries can become clogged, making them inflexible, which can lead to strokes and heart attacks.

Trans fat can also increase triglycerides and inflammation, a direct link to an increased risk of diabetes.

Your best strategy is to get as close to a near-zero intake of trans fats as possible. Some Americans, without even realizing it, eat 30 to 40 grams of trans fat daily.

The FDA predicts that by just removing trans fat from all margarines -- currently 70% are high in trans fats -- 6,300 heart attacks would be prevented each year. They also state that the elimination of trans fat in just 3% of breads and cakes and 15% of cookies and crackers would save an astronomical $59-billion in health care costs in the next 20 years.

O-R-E-O Spells National Attention to Trans Fat

On May 1, 2003, Stephen Joseph, a public interest lawyer, filed suit against Nabisco to stop the sale of Oreo cookies in California due to their high, but unlisted, level of trans fat. Within a week, he dropped the suit before Kraft, the parent company of Nabisco, was even served.

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