|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.
What is the Cause?
The question most people think they need an answer to is what is the cause of their this or that? Many people pay it lip service, but what is cause really? Going with the bucket analogy, what is the cause of one of the symptoms or diseases not being covered by water, or being expressed? Could it be that water is leaking out of the bucket through the holes? Which hole is the "cause" of the symptoms or disease being expressed? That is kind of a trick question.It is not just one hole that causes a symptom or disease to be expressed.
Reasons to Eat Organic Food
Your healthOrganically grown fruit and vegetables are not covered in a cocktail of chemicals - even after washing, a conventionally grown apple may have 20 chemicals on its skin.Conventionally grown fruit and vegetables contain more water and less vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants than organically grown produce.
Carrots : The Master Key For Healthy Living!
It slows ageing, promotes healthy vision, has anti-cancer properties, increases immunity towards various chronic diseases. Yes, carrot does it all for you.
Gift Basket Idea for Senior Citizens
Evidence for the importance of fruit and vegetable intake to health and quality of life with aging is widely recognized. Consuming fruits and vegetables can reduce an individual's risk of cardiovascular disease and many cancers.
Glycemic Index of Foods
All carbohydrates are not the same. Generally it is assumed that simple carbohydrates are not good for health as they increase blood glucose levels rapidly, and complex carbohydrates are good because they have a slower effect on glucose levels.
The Glycemic Index and Dieting
The field of nutrition is awash with charts, tables, diagrams, models, acronyms, and abbreviations; more than the average person can memorize. As such, one often comes across someone who has simply burnt out trying to keep track of how much to eat, when to eat it, how to find the calories from fat, the RDI, the DV, and so on.
Healthy Food Tastes Better!
How is it that we can't seem to think that something nutritious and healthy could in fact be tasty and enjoyable? Ever since I started to eat healthy food I have discovered new tastes, new flavours and new favourites. I do it almost daily.
Discover How to Grow Your Own Source of Vitamins, Fiber, Proteins, and More
Sprouts not only taste good, but they are also a great source ofvitamins, fiber, protein, anti-oxidants, and enzymes. A sprout isproduced when a seed starts growing into a vegetable.
Fruitceuticals - The Evolution of Fruit
Since the beginning of time, everyday fruits have been known to help maintain a healthy body. The popular "5-A-Day for Better Health" is a national program encouraging Americans to increase their daily servings of fruit and vegetables to five or more per day.
The Magic in Food: LOVE
Remember the old adage, you are what you eat? The simplest magical ritual that you can do is to cut open a fruit or vegetable and eat it while thinking of your magical intention. Below is a compilation of common foods and their metaphysical associations.
Vitamin D - The Sunshine Vitamin!
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin like A and E. This vitamin is hard to obtain from food.
The Many Benefits of Green Tea Extract
The Benefits of Green Tea Extract: Anti-Aging, Anti-Cancer, Weight ControlOne of the great advancements in nutrition in the twenty-first century is the scientific confirmation of the many benefits of green tea extract. Here are just a few.
What Is an Essential Fat?
You may have heard that essential fats are an important aspect tomaintaining the health of your body. But what exactly are they?Basically, there are two truly essential fatty acids, Linoleic and Linolenic.
Capsulized Food: The Next Step in Food Evolution
Anyone who has spent a day fasting from food, or who has even skipped a meal, knows just how much time we save when we are not provisioning and consuming meals. Of course, efficiency is not our only concern when it comes to eating.
Take Control of Your Health
In large part, you're in control of your health, not your doctor. And taking control of your health doesn't really depend on whether or not you have medical conditions.
Its Not That Bad - The Biggest Lie We Tell Ourselves
Some people say to themselves, junk food is not that bad. If you want to believe this than good luck.
The Power of Capsulized Foods
For most people, the concept of capsulized food? usually conjures up images of space travelers ingesting meals condensed into a compact pill. However, in modern-day reality, things are quite different.
What is A Balanced Diet For Losing Weight and Good Health?
The total calories that you should be consuming depend on whether you are a women or a man. It depends on your body structure and your activity level.
Nutritional Myths that Just Wont Die: Protein!
When it comes to the topic of sports nutrition there are many myths and fallacies that float around like some specter in the shadows. They pop up when you least expect them and throw a monkey wrench into the best laid plans of the hard training athlete trying to make some headway.
Natural Foods Defined
With so many people concerned about natural and organic foods these days, it's useful to stop and really take a look at what "natural" and "organic" foods really are. We all know that natural and organic foods are better for us than highly processed or artificial foods, but do we really know which foods are natural and organic? When you buy food that is labeled "natural," what does that really mean? What about "organic"?It turns out that the term "natural" doesn't mean all that much.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.