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Saturated Fat and Trans Fat

Although a little saturated fat in your diet is good, studies show most people get way too much. How bad can it be to occasionally indulge in a trans fat or saturated fat treat?

Recent research, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, shows that even an occasional saturated fat indulgence can significantly diminish your body's natural defenses against heart disease.

What was the treat that did the damage? A piece of carrot cake and a milk shake.

New Study on Saturated Fat

University of Sydney Australia researchers gave a group of healthy young adults just one piece of carrot cake with a milk shake to wash it down. This high sugar and highly saturated fat feast significantly compromised the participant's health – in two ways.When plaque builds in your body, it clogs blood vessels. Combine this with constricted arteries and you're on the path to heart disease or stroke.

Research leader, Dr. David Celermajer from the Heart Research Institute, believes the message is clear. It's important to limit both sweets and saturated fat intake.

Saturated fat is found mainly in animal products, such as red meat, meat products (sausages and packaged meats), butter, cheese, full-fat milk products, coconut and palm oils, pies, pastries, bakery fats, lard and hard margarines.

Fooling Around with Mother Nature

Since our early ancestors were hunters and gatherers, human beings have been eating meat for a long time. So how come all of a sudden animal products are a problem?

The answer is simple. Saturated fat is natural and can actually be beneficial – in small amounts. The problem is, the balance has been thrown way out of whack. Here's how.That’s a big fat difference!

As Neil Armstrong said, it's "one giant leap for mankind." But, in this case, the huge increase in saturated fat is an unnatural giant step in the wrong direction.

Mother Nature and Trans Fats

There’s also reason for serious concern about the processing of unsaturated fats.

Plants, in their natural form, are Mother Nature’s most abundant source of essential fatty acids. But, once again, modern commercial methods cause problems.

Oils are particularly sensitive to the light, heat, bleaching, deodorizing and solvents used in the intense extraction process. So what do you get?

Those clear sweet smelling refined cooking and salad oils at the grocery are mostly void of any good essential fatty acids. And when the hydrogenation process is thrown in too, you also get the dangers of trans fat. The main trans fatty acid sources are:Trans fat contributes to heart disease risk by raising LDL (bad) cholesterol.

What are the Recommended Limits?One fat gram equals 9 calories. So, if your total daily calories are 2,000, you should be getting no more than 2 grams of trans fat and 16 grams of saturated fat a day. Adding up your fat grams for one or two days can give you an idea of how you're doing.

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Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.

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