Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Tips to Avoid Trans Fats Hidden In Food


Recently, trans fats have risen to the forefront of the nutrition world. It is not uncommon on a regular visit to the grocery store to see a wide range of products advertising themselves as being "trans fat free". This is helpful information for the regular consumer to help avoid over consumption of trans fats, but what are trans fats, why are they harmful and how does one identify trans fats "hidden" in non-labeled foods? This article aims to help the average consumer understand more about trans fats and identify sources from everyday consumables.

What are trans fats and why are they bad?

The technical term for fats is fatty acids. Fatty acids are one of three varieties: unsaturated (most vegetable oils), polyunsaturated (soft margarines, essential fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6 from fish and nuts) or fully saturated (coconut oil, lard, hard margarines). The term "saturated" refers to the type of chemical bonds (single or double) between the carbon and hydrogen atoms. Most fatty acids in their natural state are in their "cis form" that is, all the hydrogen atoms bonded to the individual carbons atoms are on one side of the fatty acid molecule - on the "cis" side.

Unsaturated oils are not as useful to be made into finished food products since they are prone to "oxidation" and can go rancid - destroying the taste and texture of the product. So to avoid this spontaneous oxidation, the industry practice is to "hydrogenate" the oil. This then creates what is known as a "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil" (polyunsaturated fatty acid) that is more stable and less likely to become rancid. Hydrogenation may help increase the quality of the finished food product, however it often involves the formation of trans fats - where the hydrogen is bonded to the carbon on the opposite side of the fatty acid molecule ("trans" side). A trans fatty acid has a different structure than a regular cis fatty acid.

Studies have shown a strong connection between trans fat consumption and the development of cardiovascular disease like arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and heart disease. Evidence also seems to indicate that trans fats may be even more harmful than regular saturated fats like coconut oil, animal fats and lard. Therefore it is very important to be able to avoid consuming high concentrations of trans fats.

How To Spot "Hidden" Trans Fats

A good rule of thumb is to read the ingredients list on the side of the product packaging and look for the words "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil". Any product containing this ingredient has a higher probability of containing trans fats. It is surprising the number of products that contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and the consumer must be vigilant to avoid consuming too many of these foods. Examples of products are: almost all baked goods, foods with breading (chicken breasts, snacks ect.), fried foods, margarines/spreads and even cereals (even "low fat" granola).

In conclusion, it is hoped that this short article provided some basic knowledge on the importance of avoiding trans fats. An informed consumer will be able to make sensible and healthy choices and avoid potentially harmful nutrition sources.

David Petersen is a Personal Trainer/Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and the owner and founder of B.O.S.S. Fitness Inc. based in Oldsmar, Florida. More articles and information can be found at http://www.bossfitness.com

NOTE: You're free to republish this article on your website, in your newsletter, in your e-book or in other publications provided the article is reproduced in its entirety, including the author information and all LIVE website links as above.


MORE RESOURCES:

University of Virginia The Cavalier Daily

McAuliffe issues executive order to improve state nutrition
University of Virginia The Cavalier Daily
Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued an executive order Thursday to help improve access to nutritious food in Virginia. The order established the Commonwealth Council on Bridging the Nutritional Divide, with First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe serving as chair. The ...

and more »


School of Public Health to add Nutritional Sciences Department
The Michigan Daily
Currently, there are three existing pathways available to graduate students interested in nutrition that are offered through the Public Health School's Human Nutrition Program. These three programs are being moved from their current home in the Public ...



Design & Trend

Kids' Bag Lunches Not Meeting Nutrition Guidelines
WebMD
But recent research has found that lunches brought from home often fall short on the nutrition front. In one study, researchers found that preschool and kindergartners' bag lunches typically had more fat and sugar, but less protein, fiber and calcium ...
Brown Bag or Cafeteria Tray, Kids Don't Eat Healthy School LunchBloomberg
Bag Lunches Are Not Meeting Nutrition StandardsDesign & Trend
Yuck! Students not eating nutrition program's healthy lunchesArizona Daily Star

all 39 news articles »


Inaugural IU Leadership in Pediatric Nutrition Award presented to Ashley Jacobs
IUPUI Newscenter
INDIANAPOLIS -- Educating skilled and compassionate dietitians has been a mission of the Indiana University School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, for nearly 100 years. Part of this mission includes shaping ...



Shape Magazine

Food trucks escape Obamacare's new rules on nutrition labels
TheBlaze.com (blog)
People who want to eat whatever they want without getting a guilt trip from nutrition labels may soon have to hide out in front of food trucks. Food trucks increasingly offer gourmet choices for lunch, and are rolling up to office buildings in major ...
FDA Issues Restaurant Menu Nutrition Label RegulationsRoll Call (blog)
New FDA Ruling Requires More Establishments to List Calorie CountsShape Magazine
FDA finalizes menu and vending machine calorie labeling rulesFDA.gov
Tribune-Review -New York Times -Diabetes Insider
all 501 news articles »


What's next for global nutrition efforts after ICN2
Devex
Over 2,200 delegates attended last week's Second International Conference on Nutrition in Rome 22 years after the first edition in 1992. As expected, government representatives gathered at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization's headquarters in ...
Feeding the world safelyWorld Health Organization (press release)

all 3 news articles »


Self-Care at Swat: Nutrition
The Daily Gazette
I really didn't want to write an article about nutrition. So many people stress out about eating healthy foods, and the statistics on eating disorders suggest that many people reading this article already spend a significant portion of their time and ...



The Guardian

Improving women's nutrition through their work
The Guardian
What if nutrition efforts focused on the places where large populations of teenage girls and young women are most likely to congregate – their workplaces? As more and more young women stream into labour market in countries with the greatest nutrition ...



Al Horford Surprises Students At Georgia School With Visit To Discuss Nutrition
The Post Game (blog)
Al Horford of the Hawks is part of an initiative called Alliance for a Healthier Generation that is focused on helping kids stay active and eat sensible foods. As part of the program, Horford made a surprise visit to Langston Hughes High School outside ...



Doddridge County Board of Education Makes Student Nutrition Top Priority
WBOY-TV
For the past two years the Doddridge County Board of Education has made student nutrition a top priority. On Fridays students are given a bag filled with nutritious snacks and ready-to-eat foods, they can share with their families over the weekend or ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.