Most people know that trans fats are bad for your body, but few know exactly why. Trans fats happen with the addition of hydrogen to vegetable oil to solidify it – a process called "hydrogenation." This makes the oil less likely to spoil and extends its shelf life.
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What Foods Have Trans Fats?
Trans fats are often in processed foods like cookies, crackers, and fried foods, while certain trans fats are in margarine and spread. While trans fats are not as common as they once were, they're still present in many foods on store shelves, and it's common among healthy eating tips to avoid them.
What Do Trans Fats Do?
Trans fats raise your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your "good" (HDL) cholesterol levels. This increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. Trans fats also contribute to inflammation, which has been linked to multiple chronic diseases, including cancer.
Here's How to Reduce Fat Intake
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your intake of trans fats to improve your health. First, check the nutrition facts label on foods before you buy them. Look for "partially hydrogenated" oils in the ingredient list – these are a source of trans fats.
Also, even if a food is advertised as "trans-fat-free," it may still contain small amounts of trans fats. The FDA allows foods to be labeled "trans-fat-free" as long as they contain less than 0.5 grams of trans fats per serving.
So, how can you be sure you're getting the best possible information about the foods you eat? The best way to know for sure is to cook at home using healthy oils like olive oil or avocado oil. This way, you can control what goes into your food.
Eating a healthy diet is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. By reducing your intake of trans fats, you'll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle.
How do you reduce fat intake in your diet? Tell us in a comment!
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Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)