Fast foods are the biggest sources of trans fat. Whether you only munch on few pieces of French fries or cut your double cheeseburger to half, you are still consuming whooping amounts of trans fats into your body as these foods are cooked using partially hydrogenated oils. Conversely, this oil is magical, creating a mouth watering appeal to its probable consumers, but FDA has finally decided to ban it. This is a very big reason to rejoice, and the following paragraphs will show you why.
What is trans fat?
It used to be that trans fat is considered the magic in every food from biscuits to burgers and pizzas as it enriches the foods’ flavor, enhances its texture, and lengthens its shelf life. It never fails to make every boring food taste amazing; thanks to the hydrogenation process used in creating this type of oil. Naturally, trans fat occurs in beef, lamb, and other dairy products, but only in small amounts. However, large amounts of it are found in processed foods, like your favorite fast foods. Despite its benefits, food experts have reported that trans fats are a big no-no as it can accumulate and clog in your arteries, leading to tons of cardiovascular diseases and other health problems including obesity. Because these are liquid oils that turn into solid fats in the arteries, this type of oil is dubbed as trans fats.
What are the foods that contain trans fat?
There are tons of foods that contain trans fat, and fast foods like burgers, French fries, pizzas, and deep fried chicken top notch in the list. Other foods include vegetable shortening, crackers, cereals, granola bars, margarine, salad dressings, chips, baked choices, frosting, coffee and even its creamer, snack foods, and various processed foods. All processed foods, canned foods, and preserved foods actually contain trans fat since these are all processed using partially hydrogenated oils for longer shelf life. Other examples include pizza dough, muffins, chocolate drink mixes, popcorn, vegetable shortening, and hard taco shells. Sadly, almost all mouth watering goodies contain trans fats.
Diseases Caused by Trans Fats
Cardiovascular Diseases – The arteries are the ones that get affected immediately by the presence of trans fats in your foods. They clog up in your heart’s veins, and cause thinning in the area. It also makes them unbendable, transforming them into solid-like structures, which are originally flexible and soft. Such transformation can leave no room for the heart to pump blood in and out of it properly. In this regard, the proper way of carrying blood to the different parts of the body is hampered, leading to its demise.
High Blood Pressure – Firstly, high blood pressure is not a disease; it is a phenomenon in which the pressure of the blood passing through veins is doubled. Eating foods high in trans fat adds up stored fats in the walls of the arteries and veins all over the body, which stops them from doing their job well. High blood pressure creates a plethora of body woes including kidney failure, aneurysms, eye damage, and a lot more.
Obesity – This is one of the biggest reasons that FDA totally bans trans fat once and for all, and why it has been deemed as a bane in the society. Processed foods are mainly high in trans fats, and though they taste delicious, they tend to make you hungry easily because they’re just full of sugars. Constant consumption of these foods can add up stored fats, multiply fat cells in the body, and cause you to become obese. However, you can diminish such problem through regular exercises, but this still shouldn’t be a major part of one’s diet.
On the one hand, the health benefits of opting for zero-trans fats are aplenty. It keeps your heart pumping really well with your arteries and veins clean, and it also keeps the entire body parts function properly. If you continuously eat healthy foods, you feel healthier and you also look healthier. Meanwhile, there’s also what we call natural trans fats like those coming from beef, which should be grass fed cows.
With the big leap made by the FDA, they have estimated that at least 20,000 cardiovascular related diseases and 7000 heart attacks will be diminished per year in the US. Surveys show that an average meal in New York is less than 2 grams of the amount of trans fat in its food compared to the times when the ban was not yet enacted. Conversely, it is very important to note that trans fat can actually add up in your diet. For example, a coffee stick has at least 1 gram of trans fat, but if you add creamer, that may add up to at least 3 grams of trans fat. Now that’s for your coffee alone. Hence, it is very important that you know how to read labels, so you will be aware on how much trans fat you are consuming per meal. The FDA has done their part. It’s now up to us on how to stay healthy.