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Eliminate Trans Fat from Your Diet

Guest Author - Gretchen Goel

With the overabundance of news surrounding the health dangers of Trans Fat, it disturbs me when I still see friends, family and even strangers eating certain brands of processed foods or fast foods. There are no safe levels of Trans Fat! A single gram in one day can increase your risk of heart disease by 20%. The majority of American adults and children are getting 3 or more grams a day. Not only is this food damaging their heart, it is diminishing their chances to conceive children, elevating their blood cholesterol levels, keeping them overweight or even obese, and basically shortening their lifespan. Is the food really worth all this risk?

Trans Fat isn’t just found in fast food restaurants, it’s in most of the processed foods in the grocery store and many of the fried and prepared foods sold in restaurants around the country. It is a factory made fat that is made by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oil and then using pressure to make it solid. There is nothing health promoting about it. The only advantage is to the manufacturer who uses it as a cost effective way to keep their food from spoiling on the shelf. Food made with Trans Fat is essentially dead. You can test this statement by purchasing anything that lists “partially hydrogenated oil” as a main ingredient and leaving it out on the counter for six months or more. It won’t mold, rot or spoil. It will just get stale.

It takes some work, but Trans Fats can be avoided. You will first need to go through your pantry and refrigerator to flag or get rid of those items you currently have in your home. Read the “ingredient” label not the “nutrition facts”. Look for the words "Partially Hydrogenated", "Hydrogenated Oils", or "Palm Oil". Palm Oil is often substituted for Trans Fat, but it is not a good substitute as it saturated fat, so avoid it as well. When grocery shopping, read ingredient labels all the way through. The FDA allows companies to state "No Trans Fat" on their packaging if there is less than a gram. Buy more whole foods and less processed, but if you're going to buy processed food look for products marked "Organic".

Ask for the ingredient list at every restaurant you visit. If they don’t have an ingredient list available, don’t eat there. You will be surprised to find out how the foods you thought were healthy are not only laden with Trans Fat, but preservatives, sugar and other negative ingredients. Even restaurants that are thought to serve “healthy food” are not doing the best job. Let your favorite restaurants know you that don't want Trans Fat in your food. The more people that protest, the sooner we will have change!

Be prepared with healthy snacks on the go so you aren't forced to buy fast food. Keep a cooler in your car at all times and stock it with healthy foods on the mornings you will be out running errands with the kids. Take along easy to carry snacks like bananas, apples, baby carrots, berries, grapes, whole wheat pita bread and hummus, or plain organic soy yogurt.

Avoiding Trans Fats is one of the many things you can do to protect your family’s health. Make it a priority, along with exercise, sleep, and increasing the amount of fresh raw fruits and vegetables your family consumes.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Gretchen Goel. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Gretchen Goel. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Teresa Post for details.

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