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:

CNBC.com

Hospira May Buy Danone Medical-Nutrition Unit for $5 Billion
Wall Street Journal
Such a deal, which could allow Lake Forest, Ill.-based Hospira to move its domicile abroad for tax purposes, has yet to be completed, and the talks could lead nowhere. In an inversion deal, a U.S. company acquires all or part of a foreign firm, a move ...
Danone Advances After Medical-Nutrition Unit Talk ReportsBloomberg
Hospira in talks to buy Danone medical nutrition armCNBC.com
Danone in talks to sell medical nutrition unit to Hospira: FTReuters
Chicago Tribune -International Business Times -RTT News
all 76 news articles »


The Business of Nutrition: 'Nudging' Us Towards Healthy Living
Forbes
Andreas Souvaliotis: When it comes to healthy living, it really comes down to two things: one is activity and the second is nutrition. Activity is primarily a habits-based issue. If people don't develop the right habits then they don't maintain the ...



Measuring impact: What makes it harder for nutrition?
Devex
A year ago at the Nutrition for Growth Summit, the U.K. Department for International Development committed to triple spending on programs that directly tackle child malnutrition. We also agreed to ensure an extra 8 percent of our programs that have an ...



KTAL

4-H board learns about nutrition
KTAL
LSU AgCenter 4-H regional coordinator Lanette Hebert said, "While at Pennington, we had presentations on nutrition, how to give a proper food demonstration and also how to develop communication skills so we can give professional presentations and ...



Nutrition workshop held Aug. 21 at Flemington Chiropractic Center
Hunterdon County Democrat
Join Dr. Lindsey of Flemington Chiropractic Center on Thursday, Aug. 21, at 6 p.m. for a Nutrition Workshop to learn cutting edge information about inflammation, metabolism and how diet effects health. Lindsey is joining forces with Nicole Schaldone ...



KVAL

Nutrition and diet questions answered
KVAL
Nutrition and diet questions answered. Q: Help! I can't control myself when I start eating! How can I limit my portions? A: You're not alone. Thousands, if not millions of people struggle with portion control many times throughout the day. I know that ...

and more »


WDTV

Nutrition How-To: Men vs. Women
WDTV
"When new nutrition stories, or what seem to be new nutrition stories, are coming out, it's really good to evaluate those things carefully. I would not recommend changing your habits based on the results of one study," said registered dietician Brooke ...



DoorCountyDailyNews.com

Korzun named director of performance nutrition
Packers.com
Korzun comes to the Packers after serving as the director of sports nutrition for the University of Oregon athletic department since August 2012. He started working as a sport dietitian for several sports for the United States Olympic Committee in May ...
Packers Hope New Director Of Performance Nutrition Will Help Cut InjuriesDoorCountyDailyNews.com
You are what you eat: Packers add ex-Oregon nutritionistESPN Wisconsin
Packers: The pads go on today (Audio)Wisconsin Radio Network
The Oregonian
all 19 news articles »


The Guardian

Why nutrition is a hidden issue for carers
The Guardian
Clewer, who is a Carers UK ambassador, says: "I was strong on homemade soups so she was getting her nutrition in liquid form – it was literally starting off with a few mouthfuls and then half a bowl. It was like being the mother of a young child again ...



Back-to-school nutrition primer: Give kids a healthy head start on academic ...
ScoopSanDiego.com
“Having adequate nutrition provides children with the energy they need to learn, and increases their ability to stay on task, to concentrate, focus and solve problems,” says speech pathologist Lauren Zimet, an expert on oral motor/feeding and picky ...

and more »

Google News


Advertisement



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

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.